Summary: A retirement home resident asked some children who were touring the home if they had any questions. “Yes,” one girl said. “How old are you?” “I’m 98,” she replied proudly. Clearly impressed, the child’s eyes grew wide with wonder. “Did you start at one?”
SERMONIC / WORSHIP THEME
Opening Statement: A retirement home resident asked some children who were touring the home if they had any questions. “Yes,” one girl said. “How old are you?” “I’m 98,” she replied proudly. Clearly impressed, the child’s eyes grew wide with wonder. “Did you start at one?”
Transition: We’ve got some people here today that started at one and now they are in their 70’s, 80’s, and few are in there 90’s. Wouldn’t it be great if Sunman Community Church had a few 100 year olds in 10 or 20 years, still going strong and having an impact?
Observation: I just read this week that people 100 or older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. There are now 61,000 members of the 100 plus club but by 2020 there will be an estimated 214,000. Senior citizens have a wonderful contribution to make to all of our lives.
Theme: In fact, a senior citizen by the name of Paul does this very thing. Referred to as “Paul, the aged” in Philemon 9, he does us a wonderful service when he gives to believers a view from the finish line in 2 Timothy 4. He’s just about ready to finish his life’s race, when he decided to write to young Timothy, his protégé, and said, “Tim, let me tell you how I feel right now. Allow me to give you a view of what I’ve got going on inside me as I approach the finish line.”
Title: A View From the Finish Line - Part 2
Text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8; 2:1-26
Recitation: 4:6 For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. 4:7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! 4:8 Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day—and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
Background: Due to persecution, Paul was in prison in Rome. Coach Paul wrote his final words of encouragement, challenge, and caution to a young man that he had mentored and discipled in the faith. From what Paul wrote to him in 2 Timothy, it appears that Timothy was flagging a bit in his faith. He was a bit apathetic and his spirits were down. He was holding back and he was even a little embarrassed at times to be identified as a Christian, especially a Christian minister. Timothy was on the retreat. This led Paul to write things like “Don’t be ashamed of our Lord… (1:8)” and “Don’t be ashamed of me… (1:8).” “Retain my words… (1:13)” and “Guard…the treasure… (1:14).” “Be strong…in Jesus… (2:1).” “Suffer with me… (2:3).” “Be diligent…as a worker… (2:15).” “Flee youthful lusts… (2:22).” “I solemnly charge you…preach the Word… (4:1,2).” Timothy is on the retreat and Paul is trying to rally him to action so that he can have the kind of view from his finish line that Paul now had from his.
Key Word: If you are going to have the kind of view from your finish line that Paul had from his finish line, then you need a course, a coach, and a crown to motivate you to get the job done.
The Course You Must Run
4:6 For I am already being poured out as a sacrifice, and the time for me to depart is at hand.
Exposition: Paul uses two figurative expressions to indicate that death was near for him and that he was surrendered to this fact. He compared himself to a sacrifice that was poured out and to a traveler who was getting ready to go on a journey.
Transition: Before Paul departs on his voyage, he looks back over 30 years of ministry and described it to Timothy in three terse expressions with an emphasis on completion.
The Coach You Must Listen To
4:7 I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!
Exposition: Any good coach is going to teach his players that they must finish what they start. Paul does this by using three figures here in 2 Timothy 4 and several metaphors or figures in 2 Timothy 2. Here, he compared himself to a fighter, a runner, and steward.
Like a fighter, Paul weaved and bobbed his way to victory, measuring and landing as many blows as he could on the enemy.
Like a runner, he stayed in the race when his body and mind were exhausted.
And he had the mentality of a steward - he kept the gospel treasure safe. He never cut corners. He never fouled out. He was faithful in what was entrusted to him.