This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Friday, 21 October 2016
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18 Final Thoughts
would you say to someone if you knew you were speaking to them for the last
time?What advice would you
same questions were likely on Paul’s mind when he wrote his second letter to
Timothy. Paul wrote this letter from a prison cell in Rome, and he knew that he
would soon be put to death by Emperor Nero. The letter to Timothy, which we
heard a part of earlier in this morning’s service, was a “passing of the
torch.” In this letter Paul gave final instruction to his star pupil Timothy
much like a school teacher gives final instructions to his or her students
before they write a final exam.
a good idea for us to reflect back on our spiritual lives once in awhile. It
helps us live even better as we move forward. Our spiritual lives will face
setbacks, hardships and difficulties. We can’t change something that happened
in the past, but we can change how we do things form this moment forward.
term, “At my first defense” speaks of Paul’s first imprisonment. This, his
final imprisonment, was Paul’s Gethsemane. It was the end of his earthly
journey and the beginning of his journey into eternal glory. He was delivered
wanted to continue doing God’s work until the last possible moment, and he
wanted to study God’s work until the last minute. In other words, he stayed
focused on God until the last minute. He set a good example for us as
Christians to follow. When we stay focused on Christ and study His word, we can
withstand all of life’s challenges. Success eventually follows when we refuse
has completed the work God assigned him to do. God has given the same
assignment to both Timothy and us. It was up to Timothy to continue this work,
and it’s up to us to continue it as well. Paul is now prepared to receive the
crown of righteousness that God gives to all believers. This is possible
because of God’s grace. All true believers who hope for Christ’s return and
persevere in doing His work will receive this crown. When we devote our lives
to doing God’s work, we might not receive earthly rewards. The results of our
work will last for eternity as long as we keep getting up and going when we
life has been a sacrificial offering. The word “departure” suggest the untying
of a boat from its moorings. Paul’s exit from this life will mean a new life
ahead in eternity. Paul, like most people who know that their life is coming to
an end, looked backward before passing into his eternal reward. Staring death
in the face can bring out the best in people. The real prospect of death forces
us to focus on what is significant in our lives.
had every reason to be resentful. He had no money, clothes or food. He was in
prison. His morale was dwindling. The only familiar person who was there to
encourage him was the apostle Luke. All of his other friends deserted him
because in Rome at that time supporting a Christian at his/her trial would have
led to a death sentence. Paul’s last words had no hint of bitterness,
resentment or regret. His unbreakable spirit emerged. He was more concerned
about others than he was about himself. He extended forgiveness to those who
abandoned him, thereby following the examples of Jesus when he was on the cross
and Stephen when he was stoned to death.
also stood by Paul, and God will also stand by us. When we are tired, he will
give us strength. When failure is inevitable, he steps in and helps us find the
strength to finish the work he gave us to do. We need his strength because we
are in a spiritual war. We are fighting against evil in this world, flesh that
is corrupt and a devil that is busy. Like soldiers on the front line of a
battle we are in a battle that is demanding and risky, but the prize is worth
fighting for. Jesus will not be ashamed of His soldiers. In fact, he will be in
the trenches leading us and fighting alongside us. When we win the fight, we
will get a foretaste of the reward we will receive in heaven.
has no regrets about his past. All three images-fight the good fight, finished
the race, kept the faith-have involved sacrifice, labour and danger. Now they
represent the successful completion of Paul’s earthly ministry. Paul accepted
the reality of his situation. God gave Paul the strength he needed to spread
the Gospel, and God also gave Paul the strength to face his upcoming death. God
rescued Paul from his fate not by preventing his death but by taking him to
heaven. Christian life and ministry is a commitment to run all the way to the
acceptance of his situation is a good example for us as Christians to follow.
Things could be better, but they could also be worse. Our place in life can
only be experienced by us. If we can change anything for the better, we must do
so. If we are being blessed, we must share our blessings with gratitude with
others. If we have any regrets, we need to address them now before they poison
our spirit or ruin the rest of our lives. If we long for payback, we long for
justice to show itself. When we fear payback, we become afraid that justice
will show itself. We want our own efforts to matter. Complete justice rarely
comes, and when it does come it rarely comes at the speed we want it to arrive
who are eager for Christ’s appearing are usually eager to fulfill His calling
before He returns. They persevere because they know that their final salvation
and righteousness are sure. Paul saw his upcoming death as a release from the
toils of responsibility. He saw the hand of God moving to give him mercy and to
spread the gospel among the people who were persecuting him. He saw his
upcoming trial as another opportunity to spread the good news.
important for us to look above what’s here on earth and to know where our
treasures are. It’s also important for us to be true witnesses for God by
showing others that we serve someone greater than us. When it comes to
committing our resources in service to Jesus, we can only do what we can. If we want to do well, we need to live well.
If we want to live well, we need to figure out what our God-given purpose in
life is and give it our best shot with God’s help.
David: The Jeremiah Study Bible, New King
James Version (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013; pp. 1723-1724)
Charles R.: Swindoll’s Living Insights on
1&2 Timothy/Titus (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers
Inc., 2016, pp. 232-239,247-249)
Bible. Part of Wordsearch 11 Bible software package.
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series, Vol. 32: 1,2 Thessalonians/1,2 Timothy/Titus (Nashville,
TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1984)
J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, New
American Standard Version (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers; 1986)
C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life
Principles Bible, New King James Version (Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles;