II Timothy 4:6 (NASB) For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
The last words of leaders have always fascinated me. In my opinion among the greatest words of all are those written by the Apostle Paul from a Roman jail cell which is today’s word. As Paul awaited execution, he wrote a powerful letter to his comrade in service, Timothy. (If you are in a position of leadership, you always need to have a comrade) Paul wrote Timothy with assurance, not fear and apprehension. There is a quiet confidence in his words. Even as Paul faces death, he is not frightened to the point of aborting his purposes in God.
He knows that his work is almost over, but this does not discourage him from doing what he has to do. He does not see himself as a prisoner being executed, but sees himself as a soldier being offered to the glory of God. His life is not being taken from him; he is exchanging his mortal life for a life of immortality with the Lord. Remember after all, Jesus laid down his life for Paul, and now the apostle is laying down his life for his Savior. (Very powerful exchange in these words of Paul)
In today’s words of Paul, notice that Paul avoids using the word death; It is not that he is afraid of the word, or even afraid of the experience. It is simply that, for the person whose life is given in the service of God, there is no such thing as death. The word Paul uses is v6 “departure”, and what a beautiful word it is in the Greek language.
The word departure also means to loose a boat and set sail. This is what happens when a servant of God dies, he/she looses their moorings in this life and this world, and sets sail toward God in heaven. Paul knew confidently that his death was simply a release and exchange to be eternally in the presence of our God! Sisters and brothers whatever is going on in your life that has you in imprisoned, don’t worry it is not your permanent condition. As you commit your life to God for real there will be an exchange that will loose you and release you from any and all imprisonments in this life. Can you look around your situation in confidence as Paul did and know you are ready to be offered? If you have trusted Christ as your Savior, then proclaim v6“I am ready”, and there is nothing to fear!