Summary: Last words are usually sad, but Paul’s last words, although serious, have an attitude of joy. The key to living for Christ with joy, is knowing how to die for Christ. In our text today, Paul is showing us how to die by giving us his view of death
Finding Joy in Serving Christ
Purpose: To explain why Paul had been so successful in serving Christ.
Aim: I want the listener to think more about being with Christ than they do about the hardships of serving Christ.
INTRODUCTION: The key to living for Christ with joy, is knowing how to die for Christ. In our text today, Paul is showing us how to die by giving us his view of death.
One of the most touching moments in the history of baseball was the final farewell of Lou Gehrig in Yankee Stadium. Suffering from an incurable disease that cut his career short, the great and revered first baseman stood at the plate and tearfully said farewell to the fans who had cheered him on for many years.[Demarest, G. W., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 32: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 32 : 1, 2 Thessalonians / 1, 2 Timothy / Titus. Formerly The Communicator’s Commentary. The Preacher’s Commentary series (295). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.]
Last words are usually sad, but Paul’s last words, although serious, have an attitude of joy.
“In his book Dying Thoughts the Puritan Richard Baxter, a preacher for over forty years, wrote, "Many serious Christians, through the weakness of their trust in God, live in this perplexed [world], weary of living and afraid of dying, continually pressed between grief and fear. But Paul’s [conflict] was between two joys, which of them he should desire most. And if that be my case, what should much interrupt my peace or pleasure? If I live, it is for Christ, for his service. . . . If I die presently, it is my gain; God, who appoints me my work, limits my time; and surely his glorious reward can never be unseasonable, or come too soon, if it be the time that he appoints"[Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976, pp. 19-20]
We will have the joy of saying "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21) when we learn: ✔ How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
4:1-22 IV. How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
Vs.1-5 A. Put first things first
Vs.1 1. Believe the seriousness of the commands “solemnly charge you”
Vs.2 2. Know the importance of the Word “preach the word”
Vs.3-4 3. Accept the urgency of the commands “time will come...they will not endure”
Vs.5 4. Learn how to carry out the commands “But you...”
a. Be level headed “be sober”
b. Serve Christ when it’s hard “endure hardship”
c. Reach out to the lost “do the work of an evangelist”
d. Never give up serving Christ “fulfill your ministry”
Vs.6-8 B. Focus on the joy of our reward
The word FOR that begins verse 6 looks back to verse 5. Paul is encouraging Timothy to remain especially steadfast and faithful to Christ also because his own service for Christ was about to end.
In order to focus on the joy of our reward, we need to understand three things. Today we will look at two of them.