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African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
341 Lovick Lee Road
Oriental, North Carolina 28571-9407
April 13, 2006
Text" 2 Timothy 4:6-9,13,21 (King James Version)
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. (vs. 7) I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (vs. 8) Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (vs. 9) Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: (vs. 13) The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. (vs. 21) Do thy diligence to come before winter..."
Topic: Do It Now!
Tell me, my brothers and sisters, "How many times have you wanted to write a letter to someone; and, never did? How many times have you wanted to call someone on the telephone or send someone an e-mail; and, never did? How many times have you wanted to say ’I’m sorry’ to someone; and, never did? How many times have you wanted to say ’I love you’ to someone; and, never did? How many times have you wanted to thank someone; and, never did?
We’ve all been there and done that, at one time or another, haven’t we? We all are well aware of that feeling of procrastination - putting off what we needed to do right then - waiting too long to take action on something - sometimes, with the result of being too late to do it at all, isn’t that right?
In our Holy Scripture text, for today, we find the Apostle Paul in a prison cell in Rome! The Apostle Paul realizes that his time is running out - that his days upon the face of the earth are numbered! It was a lonely time for the Apostle Paul, for he had been deserted and forsaken by Demas - Crescens had gone to minister to and to serve the church at Galatia - Titus had gone to minister to and to serve the church at Dalmatia. Only the Gentile physician, Luke, was with the Apostle Paul at the time he wrote to Timothy!
The Apostle Paul had known Timothy for a long time! He knew his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois; both God-fearing women. Over the years, the three (3) of them had trained Timothy in the way he should go - they had trained him in the faith! The Apostle Paul had taken Timothy with him on his missionary journeys! Timothy was someone the Apostle Paul could trust - someone who he could depend upon! So, in this final period of his life, he wrote to Timothy, whom he had left at Ephesus to pastor the church there!
The Apostle Paul stated that he had sent Tychicus to take his place at the church of Ephesus and instructed Timothy to go to Troas and get his cloak from Carpus, to keep him warm; to bring his books, to comfort his mind; and, his parchments - the Holy Scriptures - to warm his soul. He also told Timothy to bring John Mark, an individual with whom the Apostle Paul had gotten off to a "rocky start" with! John Mark had abruptly left the Apostle Paul on his first missionary journey, without so much as a by your leave! However, John Mark had learned a few things, he had matured in the faith; and, the Apostle Paul felt that he now could be useful in the ministry! So, he directed Timothy to bring John Mark with him! Then, the Apostle Paul added a postscript to his missive -
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