Temple Baptist Church - 10-18-2009
2 Timothy 4:7-18
A. This past week was one long awaited. Once again, my son, my wife, and I have walked into court together and walked back out the same way. For 2 ½ years my son, grandchildren, wife, myself, family, and church have been “held hostage” by wicked people and a corrupt system. These long months and years have been the hardest of our lives. They have taken their toll on us physically, spiritually, and financially. They have been hard!
B. The battle is not over; it has just begun! Shortly, for the first time in all of these months and years, we will be able to attempt—with our Lord’s help—to bring these children home where they belong.
C. As a family, we do not seek vengeance. We do seek justice tempered with mercy. It is time for them to come home and for God to work in the hearts of all of those involved. My desire is to see the wrong righted and people on both sides to get some help from the Lord. I am not going to dwell on that though for that is not my message.
D. In these verses that I read, we find both some wonderful and terrible things. Paul is now at the end of his life. His course has been run, he has been faithful, and God has been his stay through it all. What a wonderful testimony
1. We Find The Brethren’s Involvement In Paul’s Life – vs. 10-15
a. Some Stayed With Him – vs. 10-13
1) Luke Stood With Him Physically – vs. 11 (I thank God for our church! You have stayed and prayed! You have been there for us; given us the benefit of the doubt and more! I have seen your tears, fears, and righteous anger! I appreciate it! My family appreciates it! I looked out over the court room and there is no pastor to sit with them because they know that the truth of what they have said and done will be exposed! We have encouraged our people to be there; hear the testimony of both sides; for we have nothing to be ashamed of or to fear. You have been there in force that could come and we love you for it. What a blessing to see loving, friendly faces in such a hostile environment! You were there; you were beautiful to my family; and we love you!)
2) Crescens, Titus, Tychicus, And Timothy Stood With Him In The Work – vs. 10-13
b. Some Left Him – vs. 10 (Some have eased out the doors quietly for whatever reasons. They chose to forsake us when we needed them. May the Lord help them when they need a friend.)
c. Some Came To Him – vs. 11 (Some have been added. I thank God for them. They came, heard, and stayed! It is a testament to their spirituality. They too gave us the benefit of the doubt and added their prayers to the prayers of others.)
d. Some Hurt Him – vs. 14-15 (Some have hurt my family, our church, and our grandchildren. They have stood steadfastly with the ones who have tried to destroy us. I pray that it will not be “laid to their charge.”)
2. We Find The Bible’s Involvement In Paul’s Life – vs. 13
a. Paul Needed The Necessities Of Life – vs. 13 “cloke” (He was getting old and cold!)
b. Paul Needed The Words Of Life – vs. 13 “books…parchments” (In these last 30 months, my family and I have appreciated our friends, necessities of life, but the Word of God has been our strength!)
c. We Have Drawn From It’s Strength (It has been sufficient!)
d. We Have Clung To It’s Promises (It has been right!)
3. We Find The Lord’s Involvement In Paul’s Life – vs. 17-18
a. The Lord Has Been Faithful (There have been times when we could not find Him like Job. But He was always there “working behind the boxes” on our behalf! He never left us nor did He forsake us when we needed Him most. I thank you, Lord!)
b. The Lord Delivered Us From The Mouth Of The Lion (The power of the government stood against us but our God was greater than government! He delivered my son from false imprisonment!)
c. The Lord Shall Deliver And Preserve Us (We still face the DSS and other obstacles but God is both faithful and able! Will the God of all the earth do right? He will!)
d. To God Be The Glory!
4. We Find Paul’s Faithfulness – vs. 7
a. Paul Fought A Good Fight (A right kind of fight! In the days to come, rest assured that my family will try to do that which is biblical; that which is ethical; that which is right! May God help us to do the right things.)
b. Paul Finished His Course (We do not always like where we are nor what we face but it is our course! Bob has never lost his resolve to stand in the face of 180 years of prison on these false charges. He has rejected every plea bargain because it is about the children, not his freedom or safety. My wife and I are proud of him! He is a man; he has been a soldier! We will finish as we started, by his side.)
c. Paul Kept The Faith (When Bob is exonerated, it will be God that does it! When the children come home, it will be God that does it! I believe God this morning! He has neither left nor forsaken us and I want to finish by saying, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done! We love you, Lord!”)
Conclusion: Stay with us! Pray with us! Pray for us! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!