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Myrtle Sine

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Funeral message for Myrtle Sine based on 2 Timothy 4:6-8

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When I received the news Sunday morning of Myrtle’s passing, one scripture came to my mind, a scripture that, I believe, capsulizes Her life perfectly and I knew that I had to make it the bases for my message here today
The passage comes from Paul’s second letter to Timothy right near the end of the letter
Paul knew that the time of his death was near and he was encouraging the younger preacher to pick up where he was leaving off when he penned these words,
2 Timothy 4:6-8
2 Timothy 4:6–8 NIV
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Allow me a couple of moments to show you why this passage so perfectly capsulizes Myrtle
First it is a great description of how she lived her life; in service
Paul uses the description of the “drink offering”
A drink offering was given after sacrifices involving fire had been offered to God
A person would approach the alter of still hot coals with a skin of wine and pour it on the coals
The wine would instantly evaporate giving off a cloud of smoke and and a sweet rich fragrance
It was to be a symbol of the works of the worshipper
Myrtle lived her life working in service to God, she lived her life working in service to others
I could go on for a while describing all the different things that Myrtle did for others but the fact that you are here indicates to me that in one way or another you probably experienced those acts of service in your own life
But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the children, Myrtle is perhaps the best example I have ever witnessed of what it means to serve the children
It wasn’t a task of obligation, it was an expression of love
In Paul says,
Romans 12:1 NIV
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Myrtle lived her life just like that, with joy and passion and enthusiasm she served God by serving others and I know that as she poured out her life upon the alter it offered up a sweet aroma to God
Not only is our passage a great description of how myrtle lived but it is a great description of how she died
2 Timothy 4:
2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Myrtle faced a lot of adversity in her life time, but that being said, she NEVER wavered in her faith
Her faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and saviour remained solid in the good times and in the bad
A little earlier in this same letter to Timothy Paul worded it this way,
2 Timothy 1:8–12 NIV
So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
2 Timothy 1:8-
Myrtle was secure in the knowledge that christ had redeemed her through His work on the cross and that no matter what came her way, even this despicable disease that would take her life, nothing could separate her from that love and she remained faithful right until the very end
She never gave up, she fought a GOOD fight, right up until the very end, and not only did she finish the race, she finished strong, with a determination and strength of character and faith that we could all learn from
Another reason why this passage immediately came to my mind is because of what Paul said in verse 8 which is a great description of Myrtle’s current situation, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day”
Listen to what Peter said about this
1 Peter 1:3–4 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:3-4
1 Peter 1:
1 Peter 1:6–7 NIV
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
That moment that Myrtle shed this mortal body, she entered into the presence of her Lord and saviour Jesus Christ to hear Him say to her, ‘Well done my good and faithful servant. Here is your reward’
And so for these 3 reasons I believe that this passage from Paul written to Timothy some 2000 years ago is the perfect description today for Myrtle
For it describes her life, her death and her reward
But there’s something else that, if I didn’t mention here today, I would be doing a huge disservice to Myrtle and to her memory
You see It Paul finishes this passage with what was his life’s passion, and dare I say Myrtle’s life passion, “—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Knowing Myrtle as I do I can say with certainty that she would much rather I spend less time talking about her and more time talking about Jesus for He was the reason she lived, He was the one to whom she entrusted her life and her death, and He is the one with whom she now spends eternity
And I know that her passion would be that you would do the same
If you do not already know and serve Jesus Christ, the greatest tribute that you could ever give to Myrtle is to trust Him whom she trusted so that you too can be where she is for all of eternity
There’s no religious formality to go through and there’s no organization you have to join, just simply pray and say, ‘I want to know the God that Myrtle knew’ and He will show Himself to you
Let’s pray
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