Moving Day is Coming
That was Dad, always setting the bar high.
• My brother Frank, Jr. and I followed in Dad’s footsteps and served our country in the U.S. Army as well
• Four of his Grandchildren served in in the U.S. Army
• Three served tours in Iraq
• One served a tour in South Korea
• There is also a great Nephew who is here today from his duty assignment in South Korea, and has served two tours in Iraq – he travelled all day yesterday and is here this morning, my nephew – SGT. MICHAEL BOWLES
I recall fondly growing up as a military dependent. One of the exciting things me and my siblings looked forward to with great anticipation was hearing that Dad received PCS Orders (Permanent Change of Station Orders). One of the benefits of military life even as a dependent is the unique opportunity to experience life in different parts of the country and the world.
• A permanent change of station, or PCS, is a fact of life in the military
• Receiving your PCS orders to transfer to a new duty station will happen at some point during your military career
• A PCS is an invitation to a new adventure — where you have the chance to live in diverse cultures and environments
• Dad received PCS orders and we travelled to FRANCE – PANAMA – NEBRASKA – MASSACHUSETS – INDIANA - NEW JERSEY
• Of course there was Dad going to serve a tour in Vietnam
I must admit moving and relocating also came with its challenges. Getting the house in order and everything boxed up and labeled and ready to go. That was always a stressful period. GETTING THINGS IN ORDER AND PREPARED TO MOVE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO ITS NEW LOCATION. Moving can be a blessing when you move on to greater things.
• When you move there is pain in the separation
• But also there will be joy that comes with the new place that you are now going to be connected
• You are moving from the old to the new, a new community
• You are transitioning into new horizons a place of new hopes and dreams
Perhaps there are some here this afternoon that say, well I can’t relate, I have never moved. I have been in this location all my life. That’s ok, because this fact of moving is true for the believers who have all experienced a big move in their life.
• You moved from Darkness into to Light
• You moved from a place of Unrest and Confusion into a place of Peace
• You moved from a life of Sin to a life that is Saved
• You moved from Living your Own Life to Living a Life for the Lord
Here, in this exciting text, we find the APOSTLE PAUL as he comes to the end of his life - he looks around – he looks back – and then he looks ahead. So the question must be asked in the midst of this text - WHY DOES PAUL DESCRIBE TO TIMOTHY HIS DYING THOUGHTS?
• It is to motivate Timothy to diligent and faithful service
• It is to motivate him to fulfill his ministry
• Paul has just given Timothy a solemn charge in the presence of God
• In order to give Timothy motivation to fulfill this charge he uses his own life as an example
• It’s as though Paul were saying, “Timothy, my life has come to an end. I have served Christ with all my heart and might. I have done what He has called me to do
• In the future I have a glorious eternity to look forward
• Timothy, learn from my example!
• Live the way I have lived, and you too, can expect the same glorious eternal future
In this text Paul has some years and experience under his belt. He begins to share with this young preacher by the name of TIMOTHY who is coming up behind him. He begins to share a message with him, not only for Young Timothy but also a message for us today. He begins by saying, you are not going to have me around always. I am growing older now and states – THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE IS AT HAND.
In this text the word “DEPARTURE” is a very interesting word. It literally means “LOOSENINGS.” The word can be used of loosening the ropes and cables that anchor a ship in its harbor so that it can set sail. Paul knew something about ships many times in which the cables and ropes were loosed so that the ship could venture out into the deep. He knew something about ships. All them were not positive experiences.
• “….THREE TIMES HE SUFFERED SHIPWRECK, A NIGHT AND A DAY HE HAD BEEN IN THE DEEP”
• Well, now he is launching out into the greatest deep of all
• Crossing the deep waters of death to arrive in the heavenly harbor
Paul says, Listen – my life can be an example to you. I have had some experiences – life lessons you can learn from. Paul was a man of faith.
• Instead of seeing his imminent death as a horrible evil - he saw it as great gain
• Instead of being tied to an earthly harbor - he was about to set sail for a heavenly harbor
• Instead of dwelling in a cheap, decrepit, temporary tent - he was about to move into his permanent home
• Instead of toiling on forever - he saw himself as about to be able to rest from his labors
• Instead of remaining a prisoner forever - he saw himself as about to change his residence from a prison to a palace
• He saw himself departing from one place to another
• He didn’t see himself as ceasing to exist – just changing his residence
• He was sharing in this text that he was waiting on his PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Orders to be delivered
You get the sense as you read these words found in this text, that when Paul died, he had no regrets. Paul is not suggesting he did everything right in his life, we can’t find anyone in BIBLICAL ANTIQUITY who did. CHRISTIANITY HAS THE TENDENCY TO KILL ITS WOUNDED. But Paul says in this text he has no Regrets although He has not been perfect and made some mistakes along the way. We find this issue with all of God’s called servants -
• Jacob was a Cheater
• Peter had a Temper
• David had an Affair
• Samson was a Womanizer
• Noah got Drunk
• Jonah ran from God
• Paul was a Murderer
• Miriam was a Gossiper
• Martha was a Worrier
• Gideon was Insecure
• Thomas was a Doubter
• Jacob was a Trickster
• Sarah was Impatient
• Elijah was Depressed
• Moses was also a Murderer
• Zacchaeus was Short
• Abraham was Old
• Lazarus was Dead
• Judas was a Sell-Out
• No we are not Perfect
PAUL YET SAYS, HE HAD DONE EVERYTHING THAT GOD CALLED HIM TO DO. He truly lived life to the full. And that’s what he called Timothy to do – “FULFILL YOUR MINISTRY.”
• This is exactly how Jesus Christ died
• He said shortly before His death, “Father, I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You gave Me to do”
• Will you be able to say the same?
• Are you giving your life to accomplishing the specific work God has given you to do?
Oftentimes our lives our out of balance and seem to be filled with stress because we are trying to do our own thing on our own without the leading and guiding of the HOLY SPIRIT. We will not be fulfilled, we will not be as successful as we could be IF WE LEAVE THE LORD OUT OF THE EQUATION.
• Get aligned with the Lord before it is too late
• Become a Co-Laborer with the Lord and He will help turn some things around in your life
Paul now says “THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE IS A HAND.” He knew he had finished all that God required him to do.
• God has laid out a course for each one of us
• My course is not your course
• Your course is not anybody else’s course
Jesus finished the work which God gave Him to do, not the work God gave somebody else to do. Each of us has a race course that is laid out just for us.
• Run it!
• Finish it!
• Don’t ever stop running
• Don’t ever sit down on the sidelines, and say, “If this is how hard it’s going to be to finish this course, then I quit!”
• Brothers and sisters, it is only those who endure to the end that will be saved
• This is not a Sprint – it is a Marathon
• We are saved by the Gospel – not by the opinions of men
• Don’t let what others think about you hinder your race and your God given Assignment
On last Friday morning when Charlene, Frank, Jr. and I were visiting with Dad, we had lunch and then ate some dessert together. Dad was laughing and joking with us. Then he asked us to go down to Therapy with him. He wanted to show us how much better he was doing. Matter of fact Frank Jr. (Jay) recorded Dad on one of the machines. After a few minutes we kissed Dad and told him we would see him on Monday. It wasn’t 15 minutes later we received a phone call as we were all driving home that we needed to turn around and get back to the Veterans Center because Dad was UNRESPONSIVE. Little did we know we were actually sharing the final hour and a half of Dad’s life with him.
It gives me comfort in knowing we were blessed to be the children of our Dad during his military career. We as a family were always excited to receive those PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders. Always excited about where we would relocate and off to a new adventure. It was last Friday morning when GOD LOOKED DOWN FROM GLORY AND SENT DAD HIS FINAL PCS ORDERS. Unlike the Armed Forces, the Lord did not send –
• Mayflower Moving Company to help pack up all the belongings
• Allied Moving Company
• United Van Lines
• I believe God dispatched his own Moving Company – Father and Son Moving Company
--Uncle Bro experienced his final Permanent Change of Station Orders on last Wednesday day
--God said “It’s Moving Day”
--No Government Quarters to be Cleaned and Cleared
--No Shots required as we needed to go Overseas
--No Change of Command required not for this final PCS
--God looked Down and said – No more Suffering
--God looked Down and said – No more Pain
--God looked Down and said – No more Medications
--God looked Down on Uncle Bor and He understood the words of that old Gospel Hymn
• There’s A Leak In This Ole Building and My Soul Has Got To Move – To A Building Not Made With Man’s Hands
--No General Officer signed these PCS orders
--No Base Commander signed these PCS orders
--There were no Meritorious Service Medals issued at the end of this tour
--There were no Army Commendations Medals awarded, not at the end of this tour
--When the Lord showed up with these Permanent Change of Stations Orders
--I believe Dad stood at Attention for the final time
--Heard the Lord declare – “WELL DONE THOUGH GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT: THOU HAST BEEN FAITHFUL OVER A FEW THINGS, I WILL MAKE THEE RULER OVER MANY THINGS: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THY LORD!”
--It’s Moving Day!