Bon Voyage 10/22/00



ACTS 20:22 – 24

Jesus Christ, near the end of His earth walk
prayed, “I have finished the work which You gave me to do” 
(John 17:4).

He then concluded that work by dying for our sins on Calvary. With His last breath He cried out to the Father, “It is finished!”

Jesus Christ deals in finished products. He has begun a good work in you. You are a project in progress. Be patient! Be patient with yourself and with others for they too are not yet complete but are in the process of being completed. Those who yield to Him will find: “He who has begun a good work in you WILL complete it” (Philippians 1:6).

You can confidently say: “I am not what I use to be; I am not what I ought to be; but praise the Lord, I’m on my way to becoming all that I was intended to be.”

If you consider yourself a project too great for Christ, consider one of His prime completed products, a most unlikely one, the Apostle Paul. He was one of the very ones who condemned Christ to death. He then was appointed chief investigator of the reports of the resurrection. His task was to disprove it. Instead the evidence of it led to his conversion followed by a life of service. His evidence of the resurrection made him willing to die for his belief in the resurrected Christ.

Paul, the investigator, later described himself as being “apprehended” by Christ for a purpose. Near the end of his earthly ministry he spoke of his service and its imminent closure. He spoke of:


Paul said, “…nor do I count my life dear to myself…”

Those who spend so much of their time preening, pampering, and profiling themselves might find this hard to comprehend.

When there is a commitment to a cause the cause comes ahead of life itself. The Library of Champions for Christ is lined with biographies of persons who have been martyred for Christ. Some have died for Him, some have died while serving Him. They lived among us as persons whose lives were a token tribute to the one who gave His life for them. They were so careful for the cause and so casual of life.

He declared I want to “finish my race with joy.”

Who among us would not like to live a life of joy? It is possible with the right Biblical world view. Let’s come back to that in a moment. In light of this statement in Scripture and my own life- experience there are to me certain obvious observations.


Spiritually we will each be either a casualty or a conqueror. Inevitably, you like every human being will have difficulties, disappointments, set- backs, suffering, and heartbreaks. In all of these you can be “more than conquerors.” That expression translates HYPER, meaning “more than” and NIKE, meaning “conqueror.” In Christ you are. In this world “you WILL have tribulation” Christ said. Expect it and learn how to deal with it. Remember that, momentarily it will be explained further.


The object is to finish the long course and finish it to the best of our ability. This calls for commitment to be followed by consistency. Christ didn’t save you to start the race but to finish it.


Life is short. Eternity is significant. If you give proper attention to where you are going the trip takes on a different meaning. A moment ago I mentioned we would come back to the concept of finishing the “race with joy.” To do so one must have an understanding of the joy spoken of. It is not a life lived in a care free zone. It is the capacity to see in your adversity the opportunity to become more Christ like.

If the object of your life is not to become more Christ like you are not going to experience that joy. If the object of your life is to become more Christ like you will find and express joy in adversity.

If the object of your life is not to become more Christ like your outlook will be in a perpetual dark whirlpool of every increasing negativism, pessimism, and complaining. The problems in your life will appear to be a grievous end in themselves rather than means to an end. The end being to become more Christ like.



God and the “word of His grace” is “able to build you up.” Additionally, there is “an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

“Sanctified” means set aside for a certain use. An illustration of this is two books. One is a how to book on how to build a house. The other is an inspirational novel about a family that lived in a house. The novel on the family will be of little use in knowing how to build a building. Conversely, the book on how to build a house will afford little or no inspiration. When used as intended both fulfill the function for which they were created, that is, sanctified; one to instruct and one to inspire.

When our Lord saved you He set you aside to become more Christ like. Thereafter, everything in your life is to be used to enable you to fulfill that for which you are set aside. That is, becoming more Christ like. If you miss that you miss your reason for being. Tragically most have missed it. For them life turns cold grey instead of sparkling with the colors of the rainbow as intended. This ties closely with the – – –


Christ is quoted, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Most often that is associated with the giving of money and it is applicable. I want to appeal to this beloved membership to be more generous than ever in giving to the cause of Christ through this church budget.

There is a wider application of this text to incorporate all of life. Give your every asset and resource to Christ. That is what sanctification is. It is giving yourself to be set aside for His use in the broad sunlit uplands of victory, achievement, and accomplishment as well as along the perimeter of the valley of the shadow of death.

The more we give ourselves away in the service of our Lord the more blessed we are.


After this final farewell Paul knelt and prayed with them. They wept and embraced and bid each other farewell. Bonvoyage! Have a good trip. He had just explained how to have a good trip on troubled waters.