"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day [in Heaven]—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."1
Roger Perkins of Higher Ground writes: "A few years ago I sat and listened to an eighty-year old man who had retired as pastor of a church in New Jersey after serving there for forty years—his only parish. Ten years before, at age seventy, he and his wife moved to Africa to spend their final years in Kingdom work—much of it in prisons.
"He said to our small gathering, 'I don't want to be too harsh, but what are you doing that would cause God to want to extend your life?'
"I was stunned. My old analytical self tried to counter his reasoning, but the Spirit clearly gave me a wakeup call to make every day count by remaining close to God and living out his will. Life is short no matter how long it is.
"The above pastor's name is Grover Wilcox. He started a church in the inner city of Newark after graduating from Wheaton College and was a pastor there for forty years. He knows about faithfulness. He has experienced planting, sowing and reaping. He's still going strong in East Africa—he's about 85 now. And by the way, his denomination wouldn't ordain him when he got out of Wheaton College because they thought he wasn't good material or ready for the pastorate."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, help me to carefully examine my life to see if there is any reason why you would choose to extend my life. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV).
2. By Roger Perkins of Higher Ground. email@example.com.