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Leaders

The question before us is this,

“I wonder if it is possible to die with a sense of completion? “  I indicated in part 1 of this theme that I do believe it is possible to come to the close of our lives here on earth and to do so with a sense that there is no unfinished business.

Obviously my personal conviction has yet to proven because I am yet to die! But I base my conviction (at the very least) on the testimony of two Biblical hero types because there is something very compelling about way they prepared for their journey home to heaven.

As you would have already guessed by now, the first example is Paul himself. It is generally believed that this 2nd letter to Timothy was the last letter to flow from his pen (quill?). He now reflects on his life and the mission to which he was called.

For I am now ready……….and the time of my departure is at hand. (“Departure” of course is a reference to his impending death). But he is ready. There is no unfinished business. Inasmuch as it depended on him, he had resolved outstanding relational tensions.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.  Can you hear the sound of completion in his voice? The fight has been fought and won. The course has been run. The faith has been maintained. The imagery of the battle, the marathon and defending the truth is very powerful.

The second example of someone who approached their death having a sense of completion is Jesus Himself. Jesus was always about doing “the will of Him Who sent Me”

I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. John 17:4 (NIV)

But how could He say that? Not everyone had been saved. There were still lepers who needed healing. All kinds of needs to be met. True. But notice the particular kind of work that Jesus completed.

I have finished the work that you gave me to do. 

It is obvious that Jesus saw Himself as sent by the Father with a predetermined agenda. To make a point, it is important to notice what Jesus didn’t say.   

"I have finished the work that I determined had to be done".

"I have finished the work that my disciples set for me to do"

"I have finished the work that my congregation said I had to do".

(Do you remember the saying some years ago, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”? In the hands of some creative albeit cynical Pastor it became:God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life”!!

Now, on the eve of His execution, Jesus had a sense of completion – of having done and completed what the Father had given Him to do.

This all began with the word, “Henceforth” (see Part 1). In the next session (which will be the last in this short series, we will come back to its significance.

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