“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:6,7
Paul was nearing death, and he knew it. Because of the forgiving and life-changing power of Jesus Christ, Paul had fought the fight and run the race of a Christian. He had been true to the gospel, and had lived out that truth. He had expended great energy for the cause of Christ and had sacrificed much. But, here even as he neared death, he wanted his very death to be an offering, a sacrifice dedicated to God. This is the way to live and die!
As we enter a new year, may it be the desire of our hearts to live as an offering of worship and dedication to God. May the things we desire most deeply in our hearts be those that would promote God’s glory. May our interactions with others be pleasing to the Lord. May our words and our attitudes be those that would reflect Christ. May our time be spent seeking first God’s kingdom. May we live a life of joyful worship to the Lord. And when we slip and fail, which we will, may we offer the offerings of repentance and confession to the Lord.
None of this can be accomplished by our own will-power and ability. Paul didn’t run the race or fight the fight because he had so much of himself, but because he had so much of the Lord Jesus and His grace. Walk near the Master, constantly looking to His fullness and sufficiency in faith. The departure from this for some may be soon, and far off for others.