The Final Stretch – Final Stretch

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Over the weekend, we began a new series titled Final Stretch. Lead Pastor Ben Snyder talked about how we are in the final stretch of the year. I’m not usually one to enjoy a big New Year’s celebration, but I think many of us will joyfully welcome 2021!

It seems like just yesterday, we were watching a clip of Barbara Walters saying, “Welcome to 2020!” None of us knew what was coming though.

In 2020, we have seen and experienced excessive change, uncertainty, chaos, and fatigue … so much new. Some of the changes are good; some are not. Some will be the new normal, and some won’t.

Despite what this year has been, God continues to invite us to grow. He invites us to know him more, find freedom in every area of our lives, discover our purpose, and make a difference. God has a desire to do work in us and through us. This final stretch is an opportunity to refocus and to seek God.

James chapter 1 teaches us how we can approach this final stretch.

James 1:21
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

As the pandemic began to take hold, we literally tried to get rid of all filth in our lives—we cleaned and washed everything to the point where Clorox wipes and paper towels became impossible to find. Our hands became, and are still, chapped from frequent washing and use of hand sanitizer.

Similar to our physical world, it is equally important to get rid of the filth in our spiritual world. It is an important step we can’t ignore if we want to experience spiritual growth.

In addition to getting rid of the filth in our spiritual lives, we also need to humbly accept God’s word to grow. To accept it, we need to know it. And that can only happen by going to church, reading and studying the Bible, and talking to others about what we are learning. It doesn’t happen by accident; it takes effort. But as you know it and apply it, you will see the power it has to save you.

As we enter the final stretch, commit to God’s word and watch him work.

1 Timothy 4:8
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

As you look at the changes this year has brought, how have they positively changed your spiritual life? What steps will you take to train in godliness?

NextSteps: Read more.. Learn something new. Share it with someone. Apply it to your life.

Just do it!

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for getting us through each day of this year. Help us to embrace the changes that bring us closer to you! Help us think of these changes positively and appreciate how they have changed our lives. Amen.

This post was written by the LivingItOut Team.

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