April 25, 2016
Message Summary: The apostle Paul wrote in his final letter to Timothy with this awareness; “The time has come for my departure” (2 Timothy 4:6). What solid resignation I see in these words as he faced the martyr’s death and made this proclamation, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
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“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
Around the throne the saints will bow and lay down every crown
How glorious that moment to see Him face to face
To hear Him say “Well done, my child you’ve finished your race.”
But for now the sun’s still rising there’s work to still be done
While we’re waiting for the promise of what is yet to come.
One of the great evidences of faith in our lives is the assurance of God’s care during a trial. Yesterday in our Sunday School class our friend Ken shared a prayer request concerning a relative stricken with cancer. She had sent out an email update to her family concerning her current condition and candidly reported that her medical prognosis was bleak and treatment options very limited. “Pray that I can be faithful, bring glory to God and not let fear rule my life.”
But when Ken shared the request the part that especially caught my attention was the faith she had passed on to her children. Her son is getting married in August and it is her greatest desire to attend. But he lovingly reassured her, “Yes I would like you here, but remember that going to my wedding is nothing compared to heaven and a new healthy body.”
Although I have never met the people Ken was referring to I am heartened by such a resolve to finish well.
A gospel group called Karen Peck and New River has a song (a link to a video is below) titled “Finish Well” which has this line.
While we’re waiting for the promise of what is yet to come.
The apostle Paul’s perspective on life and death is so liberating. After his conversion on the Damascus road he began experiencing the great joy that comes in living for Christ. He testified in our daily text, “For me to live is Christ.” His wasn’t by any means an easy life but millions since have testified to the joy of serving the living Christ. Indeed “life is worth the living just because He lives.”
And yet Paul also had the perspective, “to die is gain.” The word translated “gain” has the sense of advantage. In fact a few verses later Paul says, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).
Several years later Paul wrote his final letter to Timothy with this awareness; “The time has come for my departure” (2 Timothy 4:6). What solid resignation I see in these words as he faced the martyr’s death and made this proclamation, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Today, what a joy it is to follow Christ and have a deep, abiding assurance of His love. When the time comes for our departure we lose our frail, aging, and mortal body along with our residency in a world that is day by day sliding into decadence and destruction. We will “gain” and be better off by far with our immortal, ageless, and healthy bodies along with our residency in a place that is timeless, ageless, and sinless. That’s what we live for! Praise the Lord, today I am a child of the King with my home address on earth, but “tomorrow”, as a child of the king, my home address will be heaven. Won’t you join me there as we finish well here.
Finish well, for the glory of His name.
Finish strong, until the Savior finally calls us home
Give it everything we have, finish well.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as I live out my time here on this earth, I’m so glad that I belong to You. You hold my right hand and guide me with Your continuous presence and daily bread which is leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but You and I desire You more than anything on earth. My health may fail and my spirit may even grow weak, but Father, You remain the strength of my heart and You are my portion forever. My Refuge, my Fortress and my Deliverer, I will joyfully tell of Your mighty works as I seek to finish well until You call me to my eternal home. Amen.
Lehigh River Gorge train unloading in White Haven. The ride was sold out and when, due to a change in our weekend plans, we called for tickets on Friday we got the last two! We were told there are 350 people on the train.
The trail has many interesting scenes along the way with many of them marked since it used to also be a canal route. However this large round stone building without a roof was undesignated. Do any of our readers have any idea what this was used for? Respond here.
“Finish Well” Video Karen Peck & New River
Here’s the second verse:
We’ve seen our better days
These are the days to be courageous
Bold and full of faith
So wherever He may lead us
Whatever it may cost
Let the Church arise and lift
The banner of the cross.
“Heaven Is Better By Far” Video Haven Quartet
“Won’t It Be Wonderful There” Video Happy Goodmans
“Won’t It Be Wonderful There” Video Dailey & Vincent
“I Am Resolved” Video Brooksyne’s Note: One of my favorite old hymns reminding me of the great resolve I made as a young teen to “no longer linger” after or be “charmed by the world’s delights”. But instead I chose to follow after “things that are higher, things that are nobler”. Now they “allure my sight”. I never regretted it and I thank God often for the best decision I’ve ever made in my 60 years of life!
D & L Trail – Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail A description of the rail trail we rode on Saturday.
Bike Train info A great ride!
Photo last Friday at the “Amish Walmart” is an old order intercom system! The only correct answer came from a friend with an Amish background. Essentially a PVC pipe runs under the floor to the warehouse in the back of the store. The clerk can communicate to workers in the back by speaking through the pipe! Most, understandably, thought it had something to do with transferring money like the pipes at a bank drive-through. Thanks for your fun responses including one all the way from South Africa.
Here’s another photo quiz for today. What is this young man assembling? Submit your answer here.
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