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Summary: If we are going to be committed to Jesus, we must strive to keep the faith!

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• Today we are back in our series entitled, “Committed.”

• The aim of this series is to help each one of us to strengthen our commitment to Jesus, who is fully committed to you.

• WE examined the story of Zacchaeus to gain understanding of the concept of being committed to transformation. Next we examined the principle of counting the cost of following Jesus so we could get a firm grip on what it takes to truly follow Him.

• Two weeks ago we surveyed to notion of following the voice of Jesus.

• Today our investigation will take us to the issue of longevity, “Keeping the Faith.”

• Following Jesus is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Running a marathon is not easy, it takes a lot of sacrifice and energy just to compete.

• If you watch the end of the Boston Marathon, those who finish do not look very rested and fresh, they are exhausted, and leaving everything they had on the course.

• The passage for today is one of my personal favorites in the Bible. In our examination of 2 Timothy 4:6-8 we will gain some insights and encouragement from Paul to “Keep The Faith!”

• Keeping the faith is imperative for those who want to see Jesus! We will see some of the same phraseology in our text today.

• SLIDE #2

Revelation 2:10 (HCSB) 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will have affliction for 10 days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

• Jesus does not want us to start the race and then quit, He wants us in for the long-haul!

• Today my prayer is we will be encouraged not to ever quit the race!

• Let’s start with verse 6 today

• SLIDE #3

2 Timothy 4:6 (HCSB) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close.

• In order to keep the faith one must be…

• SLIDE #4

SERMON

I. Prepared for the present. (6)

• If one is in a race right now, they must be prepared for the present.

• If one is not prepared for the present, they will either drop out of the competition or they will lose.

• Many of us have watched athletic events in which you can tell a team, or individual is not prepared for the present.

• It is frustrating as a fan to watch your favorite team play a game, only to perceive they were not adequately prepared for the competition.

• I always hated the, “WE SHOULD HAVE WON” STATEMENTS THAT ILL-PREPARED TEAMS WILL MAKE ON OCCASION.

• Paul was prepared for one of the toughest parts of his race, the present. He had served the Lord well, he has faced many trials and tribulations; however, Paul was about to face one of the more difficult moments of his life very soon.

• He speaks of being poured out as a drink offering, he actually states he is already being poured out as a drink offering.

• Paul uses the same phrase during his first Roman imprisonment in Philippians 2:17 with this exception; in Philippians 2:17 he slightly changes the phrase to, “But even if I am poured out.”

• In the Philippians passage Paul surmised that if that were to happen at that point he would still be an example of what it means follow Jesus until the end!

• Now he knows he IS being poured out as a drink offering.

• A drink offering was a cup of wine that was poured on the sacrificial victim at the conclusion of the sacrifice. Exodus 29:40-41; Numbers 15:1-10, etc…

• The home stretch of the race can be one of the most exhilarating as well as the most taxing. The fourth quarter of a hard fought football game will separate the men from the boys.

• There were times when my body said quit, but my mind said NO, the game was not over!

• I remember watching Rachel the year she ran cross country. The last 100 years of the three mile race, those girls gave their all because they saw the finish line. In my girl there never has been any quit.

• Those girls would empty the tank those last 100 years then collapse.

• Paul said his departure time was near. He could see the finish line and he was not about to quit!

• The word “departure” paints the picture of a ship that is about to weigh anchor and sail away, it is the perfect picture of what Paul was about to do, he was going to leave this life and sail into the next!

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