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by Dalton Key
for the week of May 19, 2019

The principle of steadfast perseverance is repeated often and with emphasis throughout the New Testament.  The early Jerusalem church was reported to have “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  (Acts 2:42.)  Paul later exhorted the saints in Corinth by writing, “therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  (1 Corinthians 15:58.)  This same peerless apostle, himself a dogged doer of good works, again encouraged the Galatian brethren by writing, “And let us not be weary in well doing:  for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”  (Galatians 6:9.)
The Christian life is likened in scripture to a race to be run.  (Hebrews 12:1; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)  This race, the Christian race, is not a test of speed, but endurance  The race begins at the point of gospel obedience and is meant to continue until death, or “unto death”, if needs be.  (Revelation 2:10.)  Many begin the race with lofty ambitions and blistering pace, only to quickly tire and retire at the first sign of adversity or temptation.  Others run for some distance, but for one reason or another drop out before their race is run.
Blessed are those who are steadfast, who not only begin their walk with God but are determined by God’s grace to keep it up, who run their Christian race to the end, who can say with the apostle Paul, “I have finished my course . . . henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous, judge, shall give me at that day:  and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.”  (2 Timothy 4:7,8.)  May we learn and live to see the beauty of godly perseverance.