The End, or…


A final blog post by Pastor Vance Rains…


You’ve made it to the end – DAY 40 – of the 40-day Summer Stretch!

No more daily devotions to do.  No more journaling.  You don’t have to keep reading Romans 12.  No more daily blogs to read.  No more challenges to try.  No more Facebook posts to read and comment on.  No more books to read.  No more challenging sermons.

It’s over.  You can now return to your normal, same-old, non-stretching, every-day life.

Or… instead of this being the end, could it be the beginning?  

Now that you are loose and limber, from all of this stretching, maybe you’re prepared for something new.  Now that you’re in the habit of doing daily devotions, there’s no reason to stop.  Now that it’s become normal to challenge yourself spiritually, maybe you’re ready to challenge yourself even more (maybe there are some challenges on the list you never got around to – do it now!)  Now that you’ve made some new spiritual friendships, maybe you could keep those relationships going and growing.  Now that your mind has been expanded with new spiritual thoughts and ideas, find some new ones to explore!

And, I promise, there are some more challenging sermons on the way!

What if day-40 isn’t the finish line?  What if day-40 is the starting line?  What if all of this stretching has been preparation for the race that is still in front of us?

On this 40th-day, allow me to offer some questions to reflect on…

  • What have you learned about God during these 40 days?
  • What have you learned about yourself during these 40 days?
  • How has your faith deepened and grown during these 40 days?
  • What, during these 40 days, has challenged or stimulated the most growth in you?
  • If you continued one practice from these 40 days, that would help you to continue to grow, what would it be?

I’m reminded of Philippians 3:13-15,

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Press on, my friends!  Don’t quit now!  This isn’t a spiritual finish line.  This is just the beginning of an amazing adventure of faith, that will continue for eternity.  If you can grow and learn this much in 40 days, just imagine what God can do in you in a year, in a decade, in a life-time!

In the words of the great Bob Marley…

I’m a rebel, soul rebel
I’m a capturer, soul adventurer…

These past 40 days are only the beginning a great, eternal soul adventure!

So, press on, my fellow soul rebels and adventurers!  Press on!  Let’s live by faith!  Let’s go capture it, together!


3 thoughts on “The End, or…

  1. Pastor Vance, thank you to you and every staff member who contributed a blog post. Every morning I have been challenged to keep myself aligned with God’s purpose for me. I’ve received wonderful insights through the books you recommended. The past 40 days have not only made me “stretch” but it has also pointed my spiritual compass back to True North. “I am living for the applause of nail-scarred hands.” (Mark Batterson, All In)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I kind of slumped in my stretching activities in the second half of the stretch but I still gained some insight and grew closer to Jesus. I enjoyed the blog posts and definitely made reading scripture something I look forward to. After 3 years of Bible study, I obtained “The Message” version of the new testament and I love it! I’m digging in!


  3. The journey continues, another chapter of my life begins. The forty days journey will be steps hence forth closer,
    while I seek the Holy Spirit to comfort me on my journey in Christ.


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