Finishing the Course
Today’s reading: I Samuel 10-12; Luke 13:22-35
23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. I Samuel 12:23
32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Luke 13:32
There is a point in the life of every minister that his work on earth comes to an end. Both Jesus and Samuel were looking at that point in their lives in today’s readings.
In what the ESV Bible calls “Samuel’s Farewell Address,” the prophet closes with the words above. He promises to pray for the people of Israel and to instruct them in the good and right way. This a fitting summary of the work of all those called to shepherd God’s people: prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4).
Likewise, Jesus’ ministry was characterized by teaching and prayer. In verse 22 we read, “He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.” Luke frequently tells about Jesus’ prayer life. The Lord is aware that He is about to finish His course. Meanwhile, He teaches His way to Jerusalem where He will be crucified, made an offering for the sins of His people.
Not all of us are called to full-time ministry, but we, Christians, are all charged with finishing the course that God has given us. Be sure you include prayer and the study of God’s word. Be sure that you encourage your pastor to pray and to teach God’s word. Are there ways you can help him not be distracted from his calling?