·         As Paul is writing these words, he probably has about two months left to live.

·         There’s something to be said about hanging in there, not quitting, not giving up, not backing down.

o   I hope that the one thing that God will be able to say is that I have been faithful.

o   That I have poured my life, my strength, my everything into it.

·         Timothy would never really take Paul’s place, he would never really be an Apostle.

o   But he was to carry on that apostolic ministry – as a steward of the deposit of faith.

·         The drink offering was the great culimination of all the offerings.

o   Paul refers to his coming death as “the time of his departure”

o   Was about to pull up the stakes for his tent, and move on to his celebration.

·         Paul could say that he has fought the good fight.

o   Same fight we are engaged in today.

o   We don’t win these battles in the flesh.

o   There’s something about this battle that we’re in – if we don’t have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, and don’t spend time in the Word to know His voice – we lose. Big.

o   Life is a constant battle against the force of darkness – so we need to be equipped.

o   And it will not end when we get discouraged – so get used to it.

o   There is a constant battle to divert our hearts and minds from the Word of God to hear His voice.

·         Paul could say that he had finished the race.

o   It is a race that is won one (often gruelling) step at a time.

o   None of us are built (physically) for eternity.

§  None of us die of good health.

o   “Lord, I don’t know how much time I have left.  But I want to live it for You.”

§  I don’t want to spend it having arguments with my wife, family, or others.

§  I don’t want to spend it in hatred or anger or criticism.

§  I want to spend it working for the high calling, bringing as many people with me.

§  I want to live like Paul, to be able to go to eternity with no regrets.

o   You can’t change one thing that has happened; but you can change what is going to happen.

§  You can’t change that you haven’t studied or prayed enough; but you can change that from here on out you’ll start taking that seriously.

·         Paul could say he had kept the faith

o   Talking about the whole body of truth involved in the Christian life – the Gospel – the Word.

§  The truth of the grace of God in the Christian’s life.

·         Paul said to Tim, “guard the good deposit which was entrusted to you with the power of the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

o   Guard the Word.

o   Teach the Word.

o   Preach the Word.

o   Opinions come and go – the Word is forever.

o   If you stick with Scripture, you can never preach a bad sermon, because it’s the Word of God

§  You can have a bad delivery, but that’s a secondary issue.

·         “There’s a million people who used to go to my church…”

·         “You never quite get used to it” (talking about being defibrilated)

·         “It would have saved a lot of trouble if you’d have prayed for him before he came to the hospital…” (talking about his wife praying for him the second time he was getting defibrilated)

·         If I live, I live to the Lord; if I die, I die to the Lord; so whether I live or die, I am in and with the Lord.

o   The importance isn’t how long we will live – but how we’ll live.

o   What is my priority?

§  Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

§  Guard the good deposit which was entrusted to you!

§  It is His desire that we walk in the Spirit – it’s our choice if we will or not.

·         I freely receive this gift – and now I pour it out unto others.

·         Everything in life fades away – but the crown of glory given for a life well spent never fades away.

·         Fight the good fight! Don’t compromise! Don’t back up, don’t give up! Seek to walk in the Spirit!