Enthusiastically Reaching My Journey's End

Bible Book: 2 Timothy  4 : 6
Subject: Legacy; Testimony; Commitment; Death
Introduction

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.”

The older one grows the more time they seem to spend in REFLECTION.  We consider often our past, where we are now, our present and the prospective future.  The Apostle Paul dealt with each in his last book, 2 Timothy.

Years ago the average life span of a male in the USA was 74, today its 76.  I broke it down into quarters which is 19 X 4; 19, 38, 57, 76.   Two of my mentors, Adrian Rogers departed at 74 and Jerry Falwell at 73. 

The Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:6 is reflecting on his present life and V7 deals with his past.  We get to where we are by our obedience to Christ in where we’ve been.  In V8 Paul reflects on his future with Christ.

In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul did not sense that he had attained all Christ had for him, he saw room in his life for further development.  However, he kept pressing on toward Christ-likeness.  He refused to rely on things he had already achieved or to be hindered (influenced) by sins and failures in his past (forgetting those things).

There is a selflessness in this passage in that Paul’s great concern was not for himself; it was for Timothy and the success of the Gospel ministry.

Paul is attempting to fortify Timothy for accomplishments and steadfastness in ministry after his departure.  In 2 Timothy 1:2-6 Paul gives encouragement for ministerial endurance.  This passage could serve to create a courageous enthusiasm.

In 1994 (22 years ago) Steve Green wrote “Find Us Faithful.”

“Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses:  Let us run the race not only for the prize.  But as those who’ve gone before us, let us leave to those behind us, the heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly light.  Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.  May the fire of our devotion light their way, may the footprints that we leave, lead them to believe and the lives we live inspire them to obey.”

“May the fire of our devotion light their way.”

QUESTION:  Does Paul give any insight as to how to keep that fire, that passion, ablaze?

In 2 Timothy 1:6 “to stir up the gift of God which is in you…” to fan into flame.

REMEMBER:  It’s not the truth we know but the truth we obey that makes the different.

Martin Luther said, “There are two days in my calendar; this day and that Day.”

Martin Luther undoubtedly reflected on his journey’s end.  “That Day”- to me refers to the BEMA-Judgement Seat of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:10

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

Done – not known

James 1:22

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

James 1:25

“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Doers of the word.

Doers of the work.

I. Paul’s Personal Testimony   6a

J. H. Bernard reminds us that Timothy was with Paul when he wrote to the Philippians.

Philippians 2:17: “Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”

In Philippians, yes earlier, Paul viewed his life hypothetical, but 2 Timothy 4:6 is categorized (actual).

Philippians speaks of Paul’s sacrificial ministry to the church.  Paul viewed his entire life as a drink offering poured out in faithful sacrificial service to God.

Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

This pictures Paul offering himself completely to God. The drink offering was part of the Numbers 15 sacrificial ceremony.  It began with the burnt offering, then the grain offering, and finally the drink offering. The drink offering was the final act of the entire sacrificial ceremony. Paul knew this to be his last charge, he was about to move off the scene and Timothy would take his place. 

Paul’s ministry began more than 30 years prior on the Damascus Road.

1. At Salvation

Paul entered this Race

2. In Sanctification

Paul was a great example in the Race.

3. At Glorification

Now soon to experience Glorification as he exits the Race.

Note the contrast in V5 “But you” with V6 “I.”  As he soon leaves he challenges the one coming behind him.

EXAMPLE:  Jimmy Draper - In my mid to late 30’s Dr. Draper challenged me that if the Lord continued to use me, to bring the next generation behind me, with me. Soon I founded Timothy + Barnabas, a school of instruction and encouragement.

NOTE:  V5

1.  “watchful” – speaks of well-balanced and self-controlled.  The word was used literally of one who abstained from strong drink; clarity of mind and sound judgement.  Carrying on of  ministry /with seriousness of purpose.

2.  “endure afflictions” – when things get tough, don’t quit.  This is where character is formed.

3.  “do the work of an evangelist” – speaks of the call for every Christian to preach the gospel.  All of his ministry must have soul-winning at its heart.

4.  “fulfill your ministry” – carry out your ministry to the fullest.  Reach your God given potential.

John Bisagno’s father-in-law once told him, “John be faithful, it’s a long way from here to where the Lord wants to take you.”

II. Paul’s Precious Teaching   6b

“the time of my departure is at hand” – season or brief period.

“departure” – his positive outlook reminds us of an African funeral custom.  When a Christian dies, the people there say, “He’s arrived,” not “He’s gone.” Word for unloosing.

1. A Prisoner’s Word

To release; Paul was facing release; not execution from God’s perspective.

2. A Farmer’s Word

The unyoking of an ox, when its long, hard day’s work was done.

3. A Soldier’s Word

Breaking up of camp by a group of soldiers.  The taking down of the tent.

4. A Seaman’s Word

Unmooring; the departure of a ship by lifting its anchor.  Paul was about to set sail into eternity’s bay.

5. A Philosopher’s Word

Unravelling; how many times our hearts have been disturbed, our minds paralyzed, while we have pondered upon our life here and its mysteries.

Paul’s testimony provided motivation that could encourage Timothy to continued obedience.  Paul knew that in order to be used as he had been used, it would take a life of sacrifice, devoted service given and an anticipated reward.

Conclusion

My favorite Old Testament person is Caleb. See Joshua 14:7-12: “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, but I wholly followed the Lord my God. So Moses swore on that day, saying, 'Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.' And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the Lord spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as on the day that Moses sent me; just as my strength was then, so now is my strength for war, both for going out and for coming in. Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim were there, and that the cities were great and fortified. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said."

What Joshua wanted when he was finishing, what he wanted when he started.

The Puritans were known for “Rechecking their Motives.”