Summary: Most who are laying on the death bed have many regrets. They wish they would have spent more time with family and less working. To live life without regrets we have to learn how to run the race for Christ and not for the world.
The Amazing Race- Paul’s Journeys
Part 3- Fulfill The Journey of God
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 10-17, 4:1-8
Pastor Ryan Akers- # 72
Me- March Madness- Akers, Maness rivalry every year- root for teams you’ve never heard of and it makes you sick to your stomach when they lose and you find yourself mad at people you’ve never met because of poor playing or officiating. It really hurts when you come up just short of winning. Because you have to hear it for the next year. It makes you sick.
You- Have you ever beat yourself up because you came up just short? Just short of getting that promotion or just short of winning the game? It’s easy to take this example and apply it to the lives we have lived so far and start questioning the choices we have made. It’s easy to question were we’ve been. No matter how hard we try we will never make a perfect decision or be chosen first every time. There are going to be mistakes and pain in life. Bad things are going to happen and not everything is going to go our way. Along our journeys each of us will take different paths and have different life experiences but where we end up and who we become as a person in life is solely determined by us. Nobody else can choose for us how hard to work, how we spend our time, what our priorities should be in life or how we treat others. That is our choice.
And so everyday we live our lives the best way we know how and before we know it this life will come to an end. And we will look back and say if only I would have done this or made this decision here how could my life been different.
But I have wanted to show you with this series is that no matter where you have been in life no matter how many mistakes you have made when you get into God’s race then you always get a fresh start.
Over the last 3 weeks we have been studying the life of a murderer and how God gave him a fresh start. You remember we talked 3 weeks ago that all of us, if you are a believer, are in a race and our coach (God) is guiding us encouraging us to keep going to keep fighting. When you accept Christ into your heart you enter the race and you become a witness to the world. You are now the light that represents Christ and you have to keep pushing yourself past the people who have said you can’t do it and you listen to God’s voice. We said that God has forgiven were we’ve been so how far will you journey with him? Will you be his witness to the world and persevere when everyone else has abandoned you?
Then two weeks ago Pastor Eric talked about obeying the call of God. That delayed obedience is disobedience. You saw in Paul’s amazing race how God called him to minister to people and go to certain places that just didn’t seem to make sense. But he obeyed without hesitation and people were saved through his obedience.
Now we come to the end of Paul’s race and he is confident that he has done everything asked of him. He has fought through adversity and pain. He has fought through rejection and hardships. He has gone everywhere God has asked him to go and knows that there is a crown of righteousness waiting for him in heaven. In his closing speech in 2 Timothy Paul tells us what to expect and what we need to know and understand in order to fulfill our journey for God.
Take This Home: Perseverance = Pain
God- II Timothy 3:1-5: Paul uses 19 words or phrases to describe the last days. Love only themselves. People loved to be praised. Politicians praise one another. Hollywood actors say great things about others. If a man boost a school then the school gives him an honorary degree. And Paul says you will find this in churches. Chapter 4:3 says that in the last days congregations will follow teachers with itching ears. The people want to be entertained and complimented so the teacher does that. You just don’t seem to hear today that we are sinners and need a savior instead we tell them how wonderful they are because we don’t want them to leave the church.
Vs. 5- They go through the motions of religion but lack what it means to have a real relationship. Avoid these people and places.
Vss. 10-12,14,16- pain will happen, people will turn against you because of your faith. America used to be safe for Christians but more and more people are turning against Christians. Real Christianity and real Christians are becoming very unpopular. The press today cries out all the time that there is no freedom of press but have they ever talked about how real Christianity is stifled by the press. Have you read an article lately that was sympathetic to a biblical position. If a fundamental Christian gets any publicity it is distorted and misrepresented. Of course if a preacher gets on the wrong side of the law it makes the front page but if he saves 10 thousand people from going to hell he is ignored.