Are you ready?
2 Timothy 4:1-5
The content of Paul’s charge to Timothy is centered on the believer's attitude of service to God. Paul was Timothy’s spiritual father; whereas Timothy was Paul’s disciple, friend, student, and co-laborer until the end of Paul’s life. Paul knew that his life was ending soon. He makes it clear to Timothy that he is ready to go home to glory. He specifies his faith-filled life in vs. 6. He says: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. A believer that has lived a life worthy of God’s call can say with confidence; I am ready whenever He says it's time, and I'll do what's required of me until He calls. My grandmother's favorite song was, "When He Calls Me, I Will Answer, I'll Be Somewhere Listening For My Name." She was 92 years old when the Lord called her home.
There is a secular psychiatrist that designed eight stages of social and emotional life development, in 1956, for every human being. While my focus isn’t the stages in itself, the last stage is the one I’d like to share. The last stage of life, according to Erickson, is that of Wisdom; it is the stage of “Integrity vs. Despair;” this stage says that if the other seven psycho-social stages have been successfully resolved, the mature adult develops the peak of adjustment: integrity/wisdom. "He trusts, he is independent and dares the new. He works hard, has found a well-defined role in life, and has developed a self-concept with which he is happy. He can be intimate without strain, guiltless, does not focus on regrets, or does not lack realism in life; and he is proud of what he creates - his children, his work, or his hobbies." In Christ, we place all our cares on Him. He speaks for us; therefore, we become fulfilled because of the debt he paid for our sinful state. Without Christ, there is only man's account for himself. He is dependent on himself. Even if one feels that he/she has reached a life of integrity according to a life stage ledger. He/she will stand alone after life on earth. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "God has put eternity in the heart of man." The believer's life does not consists of checklist. We are dependent on the Lord and His sacrifice for our lives. Even if each stage of life has been met according to man's standard, if God's standard has been ignored, man is lost. The Bible teaches that apart from Christ, there is no hope. God meets us where we are. He is ever-present. He desires a personal relationship with you through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
As Paul realized his life counted for nothing outside of Christ (Phil. 3:8), he also realized, in Christ, he had completed his purpose. He had reached a life of integrity because he had followed God's standard of living.
Lord, help each person to accept the things he/she cannot change and fully give himself/herself to you. Help one to know that you have ordained a specific purpose for each person's life and You desire that no one should perish but all may experience your love and peace. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Encourage and Be Encouraged!
Resources used: Bible Commentary, John MacArthur Study Bible (NKJV), and Teacher's Critical Commentary. Psychology, Myers in Modules...Myers, David G., 6th edition, 2000
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