Summary: This was sermon No. 55 in a series called, "Route 66: A Road Trip Through the Bible," preached in 2016-2017.
2 Timothy: Live With the End in Mind
by, Tony Thomas
Steven Covey is the author of a best selling book titled, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit No. 2 is, “Begin with the end in mind.”
I’d like to borrow from Covey’s second habit, but change it ever so slightly. In 2 Timothy, Paul encourages us to Live With the End in Mind.
My favorite T-shirt is a Dr. Pepper shirt that someone gave me about ten years ago. I like it because it’s the right color (Oklahoma red), the right feel (cotton), and the right message (Dr. Pepper). You guys know by now that if I’m not drinking an Arni’s Sweet Tea, it’s a Dr. Pepper.
But I saw a T-shirt on vacation that every preacher ought to wear. It read: “Live your life so your preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral!”
We’re in a series called Route 66 and we’re taking a Roadtrip Through the Bible. We covered the Old Testament book in 2016 abd we started the New Testament in January. Today we’re in 2 Timothy and this is Paul’s 12th of thirteen letters.
In 2 Timothy, Paul tells Timothy to Live With the End in Mind. In fact, Paul closes his letter with a bold statement:
2 Timothy 4:6 The time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord shall give me at that day.
Every good golfer tees off with the end in mind. Before teeing off, you look 4-500 yards into the distance to see the placement of the flag on the green. Only then do you attempt to drive your ball to a certain point on the fairway in order to set up an easy approach.
Several weeks ago our church golf league was playing and there were five us in my group: Chuck Akers, Pat Hanslow, Duane Rater and Dan Booth. On the third hole I shot for the left side of the fairway to avoid a sandtrap and a large sycamore tree. Unfortunately, I went a little more left than I should.
I now had a very difficult second shot and I got a little too cute with my swing and accidentally hit the only limb on the tree. So much for a tree being 90% air!
My ball ricocheted off that limb right towards the No. 6 tee box where an elderly couple was seated in a golf cart. I yelled, “Fore!” as loud as I could. They didn’t move.
Then I jumped up and down and waved my arms, yelling, “Fore!” again. No movement.
“Oh, no!” I thought to myself. Not only are they old, they’re deaf. I was desperate now because I actually made good contact on my swing and, although my aim was off, my swing was on and if that ball hit them I worried about their health. It landed less than a foot from their golf cart.
I ran. Yep, I’m a Grandpa but I can still run when the adrenaline is flowing and I sprinted about 200 yards. They still weren’t moving and I was hoping my ball didn’t hit them.
When I finally caught up to them I started apologizing profusely! I’ve never apologized more sincerely in my life. I tried to explain that my ball was hit a tree and that I was not intentionally trying to hit them. They just sat quietly as I went on and on.