“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.”
— 2 Timothy 4:6
God only calls a small percentage of those who follow Christ to be martyrs for Him. Certainly, Paul was one of those.
Paul’s last epistle was 2 Timothy, and in the poignant 4th chapter he writes, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.” He is ready to be offered, the sacrifice is ready to be poured out.
This is now his second imprisonment. He was released after the imprisonment during which he wrote Philippians, then he continued his missionary journeys, probably traveling all the way to Spain. But now he has returned, has once more been captured, taken prisoner and thrown into a dungeon, and this time there is to be no release in this world.
Paul is not afraid of death because Christ has conquered the grave. When he was drawn up out of that prison, led out of the city of Rome down the Appian Way, and the headsman’s ax flashed in the Roman sun, the Apostle Paul experienced immortality, and he received the crown of righteousness. We can indeed rejoice that in Christ death has lost its sting. Whether martyred or not, we should live for Christ in such a way that we, too, can look forward to receiving a crown of righteousness.
Lord, give me strength to make my life an offering to You. Help me to avoid carrying a burden You have not given me, but also help me be ready to follow You even unto death…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE ARE
A LIVING SACRIFICE.