Summary: What it takes to finish the journey of life well
The Journey of life
How is it that we can finish the Journey of Life well?
Finishing well requires Finishing your work (2 Timothy 4:7b)
Finishing well requires Faithfulness to Christ (2 Timothy 4:7c)
We have been talking about the journey of Life these past several weeks
The Journey of life is sometimes illustrated as a race in the Bible.
We are in a race.
This race is not so much to finish first as to finish well.
I want to show you a video of a race from the 2006 Olympics that illustrates how we can run a text book race and finish poorly and all we will be remembered for is the poor finish.
(video of jacobellis losing 2006 snowboarding race at Olympics) email me and I will send it to you)
After Video back to slide 1
Things can go so well and then go so wrong. In that race the snowboarder lost focus.
We need to maintain our focus if we are going to finish well.
Throughout the Bible we find people of God who
start well and yet finish poorly,
who run well and who stumble along the way,
who start poor but finish well.
I want to encourage you that no matter how you have been doing on this journey of life, there is still time to finish well.
And for those who have been running the race of life well, I want to encourage you to maintain your focus, because you do not want to slip up now and finish poorly.
We just saw in the video how easy it is to run well the whole way and then finish poorly.
Don’t let that be you.
Unfortunately for this snowboarder, this finish will haunt her for the rest of her life.
Today, however, we are going to take a look at one person in the Bible who is a great example of finishing well on the journey of life, and that is Paul.
Paul did not start out so well.
He was a persecutor of Christians.
He was even there at the stoning of Stephen, giving his approval.
But the Lord gave him the opportunity for a fresh start.
He then took the next steps of faith and continued on in the journey.
He stood firm when things did not seem fair and
He finished well.
When I was in High School, I was in drama and in the plays that we did, we had a saying that said, you were only as good as your last act.
Paul’s last act was one of faithfulness even as he faced execution from a Roman prison.
He finished well.
Let’s see what we can learn from Paul so we might finish well too.
Listen to what he says to Timothy as he approached his death in
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (p. 843)
Now as you turn there, a little background.
Paul is writing to Timothy to encourage him in pursing God’s call in his life.
I am going to begin reading from
2 Timothy 4:1-8, to get the context, but we will be focusing on the last part
2 Timothy 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.
Paul, nearing his execution,
is concerned for others to come to salvation and
encourages Timothy to “discharge the duties” of his ministry.
How is it that Paul is able to face what he is facing and yet come to the end of the race, the end of his journey of life and still be focused on others coming to Christ?