2 Timothy 4:6-7 “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” These words were uttered by the Apostle Paul in the latter years of his life, but it’s not simply a passage for old folks or those nearing death. I believe that this passage can serve well as a capstone of how you’ve lived your life over the decades; and that story is being written today.
This is the best retirement nest egg – contented reflection – looking back over decades of choices, fighting, finishing, and holding firm, a lifetime of being poured out as an offering before God. In a nutshell: seeking to pour out my life daily so I can look back on a life poured out. Husbands and wives who find common ground here, will go the distance!
Jesus described it as “laying up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Divided allegiance, the attempt to serve two masters, results in both treasure and heart remaining earthbound and exposed to loss.
2 Corinthians 4:11-12 “For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” Every believer has read this passage at one time or another and felt a connection to the hardships Paul lists in preceding verses: afflicted, hedged in, perplexed, persecuted, struck down. The key phrase in this passage is “for Jesus’ sake.” He Himself must be our reward.
I can buy into this scenario if I see at least a little bit of fruit. Always being given over to death followed by the life of Jesus being manifested, is more or less a basic pattern for Christian living, right? Death at work in me and life released to you; this brings me joy. If you embrace the same posture towards me, then together we can endure any test. Imagine such a marriage: two lives poured out for one another, “life releasing death” working in each spouse, laying up eternal treasure in heaven. In today’s economy, this is the best investment.