Summary: This is a message calling for a commitment of the variety that Paul spoke of in Romans 12:1,2.
A Life Poured Out
2 Tim 4:1-8
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
TEXT: Verse 6
WRITER: The Apostle Paul, a prisoner of Rome, facing execution.
RECIPIENT: Timothy, a young man whom Paul had led to Christ and personally discipled–and now the pastor of the church in Ephesus.
PAUL’S CRIME: preaching the Gospel
METHOD OF EXECUTION: beheading, not crucifixion, because he was a Roman citizen.
Paul’s arrest probably occurred in the time of Nero when a wave of persecution against Christians was taking place. Nero tortured Christians by crucifying them, by wrapping them in various animal skins and turning his hunting dogs loose on them. Sometimes he burned them alive as human torches to illuminate the games in his garden.
Paul had already poured out his life several times: beaten, stoned, left for dead, shipwrecked, imprisoned. But probably the worst kind of suffering that he endured was the time he was forsaken by all his friends. Look at verse 16 of this same chapter: “At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. “
His entire ministry was like a drink offering (POUR) to the Lord. There’s no doubt that his intensity, his commitment, his determination to use all his time and energy for the Lord was that he was trying in part, to make up for the misguided years he spent in slavery to legalism.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A DRINK OFFERING?
Both Jew and Gentile believers of that time would have understood exactly what Paul meant by this expression.
Jewish Drink Offering: called “libation” in Numbers 15:10. It symbolized the following:
❏ sacrifice–sometimes as much as a quart of expensive wine was poured out along with an offering–just poured out on the ground–given to God! Like the woman in the home of Simon the Leper who poured out expensive perfume on the head of Jesus (Mark 14).
❏ free will offering–poured out gradually
Roman Drink Offering: Every Roman meal ended with a kind of sacrifice. A cup of wine was taken and was poured out to the gods. Its as if Paul was saying, “The day is ended, it is time to rise and go, and my life must be poured out as a loving sacrifice to Christ.”
I can think of several people, who like Paul, have been in the process of “pouring their lives out to God” as an offering of love.
1. EDNA HENDRICKS
❏ Joined the church when she was 10
❏ Spent all but the last few years in that church
❏ Served as S.S. teacher, pianist, choir director, board member–one of the sweetest, most godly women I have ever known.
❏ Spent the last 20 years of her life in a nursing home–but not idle.
❏ Had crippling arthritis–in a wheelchair, but taught a Bible class in that home. Some of them slept while she taught–others talked while she taught, like children. But she didn’t quit because she did it for her Lord!–as a drink offering. She POURED out her life for Jesus.
During World War II, England needed to increase its production of coal. Winston Churchill called together labor leaders to enlist their support. At the end of his presentation he asked them to picture in their minds a parade which he knew would be held in Picadilly Circus after the war.
First, he said, would come the sailors who had kept the vital sea lanes open. Then would come the soldiers who had come home from Dunkirk and then gone on to defeat Rommel in Africa. Then would come the pilots who had driven the Luftwaffe from the sky.