Today’s Scripture: 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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

This morning, I want more than ever to speak to you from my heart. Not just as a pastor, but as your friend, and as your brother in Christ. Today, I am writing my last new devotional for Victory In Grace. The time has come for me to turn the page to a new chapter in my life. The Lord has led me to aid a new church plant near my home in Florida and to turn over this ministry to my son and Pastor Paul Julian.

Honestly, retiring is perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done. There are so many faces I see when I preach from this pulpit here that bless my heart. Their faithfulness over the years and their love for the Lord encourage me every time I see them. I look around at the building we constructed together and remember the many miracles we watched the Lord perform through our mustard seed of faith. I watch my children and grandchildren serving the Lord. I cannot believe all that the Lord has blessed me with, the valleys he has brought me through, and the mountain tops He has set me upon. After every testing, He has brought me more precious blessings than I could ever fathom.

Although I am retiring from this ministry, there is no quitting in the Christian life. I will never stop pressing for the mark. The race will continue until I finally see my Savior’s wonderful face. I challenge and encourage you to give each day of this race everything you have. Never rust out or burn out. Don’t ever throw in the towel. Imagine what it will feel like to cross the finish line and fall into the arms of the Savior Who gave His life for you. What a day that will be when our Jesus we shall see! In my last personal devotional, I want you to know that no matter what trials you face along the journey, it will be worth it all.

In this struggling country and across the globe, the Lord still has much work to do through us. In this ever darkening world, there are countless souls to reach with the clear gospel and hurting believers to uplift with God’s love. There are children who need to see our testimonies and experience the grace of God through our lives. It is my hope and my prayer that we finish this race together. Strong. Determined. Unshakeable. This morning and every morning let us purpose to keep the faith.

I want to personally thank you for being part of my life and this ministry. It means more to me than you will ever know this side of Heaven. May God grant each one of you the strength to press on and give you blessings more wonderful than you could ever ask or think.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder