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Paul’s Gut Check! II Timothy 4:1-8

The Apostle Paul was on the last leg of life’s journey. What would he say and to whom would he say it? II Timothy answers both of these questions! In these final verses of his last letter, Paul quickly scans his life and comes up with these challenging words. “Preach” is his counsel for Timothy! “Preach” when things are good and when they are not good! Above all, “Preach the Word!” As Paul thought about drawing his last breath, Timothy came to mind. “Yes, that’s who I will send this my last words to, Timothy.” So Paul choose a pastor and a preacher as his last counselee.

One might think that Paul was in no position to give counsel to anyone, much less another preacher! After all, Paul’s in prison anticipating death… his usefulness exhausted! What could he possibly say that would carry any weight? But wait a minute! This Roman prison is God’s choice for Paul’s office for counsel. Paul has given everything to the Lord. Everything means his life! So with eternity on the horizon, Paul speaks. The Holy Spirit fills his heart and his words explode from the parchment filling Timothy’s heart with a desire to finish faithful! Yes, Timothy knew what it would cost. His preaching professor is his example. It will cost him his life. Paul is proof! To do what Paul has done and to do what Paul is requesting, will surely be Timothy’s ticket to glory! Timothy could walk away right now and live for himself. But he chooses to follow his mentor into the presence of his God! Ultimately, Timothy chooses to make a difference! Aren’t you glad that Paul did not just fade away in depression over his pending death? No, he does what God made him to do… take up his cross and die. Courageously he tells Timothy how to really live by dying, first to his Lord and secondly to himself. Sometime later Timothy found himself in the presence of his Lord and his God. And yes, he heard well done with an echo… first from His Lord and secondly, from his Brother Paul! Brothers and sisters let’s pursue this same path and the same life and hear the same words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”

Maybe it’s time for a gut check of our own. Looking at our culture and church climate, are we in a position to hear and heed Paul’s counsel to Timothy? In the face of growing opposition and struggle will we “Preach the Word?” Will we be “Living Sacrifices” for Jesus’ sake? Will we “Finish Faithful?” Will we hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant?” By God’s grace may it be so for everyone who wears Paul and Timothy’s mantle… “Preach the Word” until Jesus comes! Amen!!!

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