Legacy Church
Cadence: Passion
Legacy Church exists because every person needs belonging, fulfillment and relationship. We weren’t created to go through life alone. That’s why we’re building a community of authentic believers who can grow through life together.
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  • Legacy Church
    320 S Main St, Tennille, GA 31089, USA
    Sunday 11:00 AM
Big Idea:

You’ve probably heard the common saying before, “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” It’s easy to walk in step with the Spirit when things are going good, but increasingly difficult as the years drone on. Maintaining your passion, persevering, is a trademark of our faith and it takes a life filled with healthy rhythm for the long run.
Introduction

Welcome back church, it’s good to see you all today as we finish up our series Cadence. Over the past few weeks we’ve talked about healthy and unhealthy rhythm, also known as cadence, in our lives and in the world around us. In week 1 we looked at the rhythm of creation through the eyes of God, in week 2 we talked about the cadence that is hard-wired into every individual person, and last week we dove into the rhythm of relationship with others. The cadence of community.

And near the end of our sermon last week we started talking to you about having a passion for fellowship and communion. I challenged you to consider your “part in the performance” and if there is anything stifling or hindering your ability to experience a healthy rhythm of relationship. And today we’re going to talk further about maintaining a healthy rhythm and passion for Christ and the Church throughout your life.

Like running a marathon, a life of consistent passion takes focus, determination, resilience, and discipline. And just like running a marathon, it is necessary to maintain a sustainable rhythm throughout.
Main Idea

You see, in this instance, I had a fantastic start. I was feeling confident and ready to win the race. However, I eventually slowed down. And at the end of the race, I didn’t win like I first thought I would. I wasn’t able to keep my stride, it was an unsustainable pace.

I wonder how many of us have this same struggle in our lives?

The areas in which we see it as evident are significantly more important than a race in gym class. We are experiencing good things, healthy things, but because of our lifestyle overall and even our lack of preparation for tough seasons, we don’t have a sustainable cadence.

Today, we are going to learn from a man in scripture who understood the truth behind this common phrase: “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” Turn with me to 2 Timothy 4.

In this New Testament letter, the Apostle Paul is writing some final thoughts to Timothy. Timothy was a young minister who Paul was mentoring and training in the faith.
What powerful words those are from Paul. They hold great confidence, not in himself, but rather in what God has been doing through him. Today, I want to focus our time around the three things Paul claims to have done in verse 7. Because I believe that if these three things are present throughout our daily lives, not just by the end of our lives, we will indeed experience a Christ-like cadence.
Fight the Good Fight

First of all, in verse 4:7, Paul says that he has “fought the good fight.” Now, Paul could easily have meant many things here in these words, but let’s break down what Paul most likely spoke of when he referenced the “good fight.” The Bible makes it clear that during our life here on earth, we are involved in a spiritual battle.

Paul writes elsewhere that the battle we are engaged in is not one against flesh and blood. Instead, there are higher powers at work.
And out of all people to be writing about this, Paul has every right. He has personal, life experience that proves these words of his all too clearly. You see, the Bible lets us know that Paul had experienced much turmoil and persecution throughout his ministry. There were numerous, if not thousands of times the devil tried to “cut in” on Paul. For instance, he was stoned in Lystra but continued to do ministry.
If this wasn’t enough, he was also shipwrecked but still continued to serve the Lord.
And how about the time we learn that Paul had been whipped five times but still kept his faith in Christ?
Chances are, Paul, experienced a healthy rhythm in his life. Why? Because, as these few examples show, he did not allow anything worldly to get in his way of serving the Lord. Fighting the good fight for us looks like a daily commitment to accept whatever comes our way and simply make the most of it. Having an eternal posture and keeping your eyes on Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3) is key to sustaining a life-long cadence of passion.
This was Paul’s key to success in fighting the good fight. And if we want to experience a healthy cadence in our life, I believe we too must be willing to push through adversity and stay the course, the path that the Father has marked out for our lives.

Paul takes things a step further in our passage from 2 Timothy 4, as he claims to have finished the race.
Finish the Race

Secondly in verse 4:7, Paul makes it clear that he senses his life coming to an end. He knows that his time on earth is nearly finished. And as he looks back in reflection when writing to Timothy, he can say that, in other words, he left it all on the court. He held nothing back. He lived a life of passionate pursuit and faith.

The reality is, God has called all of His children to run the race of faith. However, He never promises a smooth, easy race. Rather, He actually promises us trouble and pain in the midst of an ongoing spiritual battle.
So if we know from the life of Paul and the words of Jesus that trouble is going to come our way, we have to work hard to stay connected to the source of life. We have to persevere and persist in our relationship with the Lord and the church. This is how our rhythm will remain healthy and sustainable during the race.
The writer of this Psalm states it very clearly: God alone is meant to be our place of refuge and safety when trouble comes our way. This is where we find endurance along the way. It’s hard to “rehydrate” from a well that runs dry.

Maybe the question God is asking you today is simply, “Which wells are you drinking from in life?” If they are sources of water that are not living water, they will eventually run dry. There is a direct correlation between where we find endurance during the race of life, and how we finish. This is why Paul ends his statement in 2 Timothy with one more key phrase…
Keep the Faith

Did you catch what Paul says? “I have kept the faith.” Over everything else he has just stated, it seems that the most important thing to Paul about his life is that during it, he has sought to keep the faith. In fact, he’s given everything he’s got to keep the faith. Temporary issues tried to distract him away and force him to give up on God. But all along, Paul believed God would still be faithful, and he was right!

The prize that Paul was chasing after all along was not one from this world. It was a heavenly prize, which he also encourages us to chase after. His preparation for ministry, as well as his hardship in ministry, had both led him to this very moment. And as we close out our series today, the question we must ask ourselves is two-fold;

How much do we want that heavenly prize?

What would it take to be able to say like Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Obviously Paul had some significant challenges, and I for one hope that I am never shipwrecked anywhere, but there is so much to learn from his life and his passionate devotion to the kingdom of God.

Paul had a healthy rhythm. He knew what it was to “walk in step with the Spirit.” He understood the power of community and communion. In fact, Paul wrote many of the scriptures I’ve quoted throughout this series pertaining to cadence and rhythm. He’s a great example to us of a passion-filled and persistent life of faith.

So, I ask again;

What would it take to be able to say like Paul did, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Conclusion

As I have already made abundantly clear throughout this series, a healthy rhythm and cadence in our lives comes down to intention, discipline, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

And you know what, discipline is hard.

Being intentional everyday is difficult. We live in a chaotic, hectic, fast-paced world that is only getting faster and faster every day.

I dare say that it’s as important as ever to seriously consider the cadence of your life. Is it sustainable? Is it life-giving? Would you say you’re flourishing?

If it’s not those things, what can you do right now to change the trajectory of your life? What can you do to press into faith, and get in step with the Spirit? What’s holding you back?

Let’s talk about running a marathon again for a moment.

I don’t know anyone that can just show up and run a marathon. I think most of us understand that would be an extremely dangerous way to spend a Saturday. But most all of us could run a 100 meter dash, probably a 200, and maybe even a 400. I doubt it would be pretty, but I think most of us would cross the finish line.

Well, life is a lot like this comparison… Most of us can run for short distances and finish the race. But few and far between are those who can sustain the pace that a marathon requires. It just requires something different.

Faith is like a marathon. A life of faith requires something different than a day of faith, or a week of faith. It requires a sustainable rhythm.

Said another way; The life of faith requires a kingdom oriented cadence that begins with God, flows into individuals who experience fulfillment and joy through fellowship and community expressed over a lifetime.

And today is as good a day as any to begin or resume the journey.

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