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New Year’s Eve – “Finishing Strong!”

Pastor Phil Derstine 12-31-23


We are running a Spiritual Race Run to Win!

  • II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
  • I Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”


Apostle Paul Finished Strong – Even though he lived a difficult life!

  • II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (8) 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.”
  • II Corinthians 11:23-27 (MSG) – A summary of Apostle Paul’s difficulties
    • I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count,
    • At death’s door, time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ 39 lashes,
    • Beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked 3 times,
    • Immersed in the open sea for a night and day.  In hard traveling year in and year out,
    • I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes.
    • I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storms,
    • Betrayed by those I thought were my brothers.  I’ve known drudgery and hard labor,
    • Many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold,
    • Naked to the weather, II Corinthians 12:7 “Thorn in the flesh” ailment
    • Finally, beheaded by Emperor Nero in 67 AD.
  • Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.”
  • Philippians 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, (14) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
  • I Corinthians 9:25 “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
  • II Timothy 2:5 “Also, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.”


Make Time for God – Prayer and Bible Reading

  • Bible – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Read the Bible in a Year Plan)
  • Matthew 4:4 “Jesus answered, It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”


King David Finished Strong – Even though he sinned… but he repented.

  • II Samuel 11:1 “And it came to pass… at the time when kings go forth to battleDavid tarried still at Jerusalem.”
  • II Samuel 11:13 “Then David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD…”
  • II Samuel 11:20 “Then David arose from the ground, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothes, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped.”
  • Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”