Summary: Proposition: God is looking at our choices
2 Timothy 4:1-8 message
1I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, 2so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple. 3You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food--catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. 4They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. 5But you--keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant. 6You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. 7This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. 8All that’s left now is the shouting--God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.
2 Timothy 4:1-8 – Contemporary English Version
1When Christ Jesus comes as king, he will be the judge of everyone, whether they are living or dead. So with God and Christ as witnesses, I command you 2to preach God’s message. Do it willingly, even if it isn’t the popular thing to do. You must correct people and point out their sins. But also cheer them up, and when you instruct them, always be patient. 3The time is coming when people won’t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. 4They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories. 5But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well. 6Now the time has come for me to die. My life is like a drink offering  being poured out on the altar. 7I have fought well. I have finished the race, and I have been faithful. 8So a crown will be given to me for pleasing the Lord. He judges fairly, and on the day of judgment he will give a crown to me and to everyone else who wants him to appear with power.
All week long the song “The Way You Do the Things You Do” has been in my head. This man, so in love with this woman. A woman who could have done anything, been with anyone, gone anywhere, but chose him. He was excited – He was delighted that she chose Him. Choices – she could have done anything that she wanted to – but she chose this man for whatever reason. God gives each of us freedom of choice. Now our choices have consequences, many times we blame it on Satan, talking about how busy he is… but in reality we are in the mess we are in because of choices we have made. But in this scripture, Paul gets excited about the fact that he made Jesus his choice. He gets excited because he understood when he crossed over to the other side, God would be pleased with the choices he made and say– You could have been anything that you wanted to but I can tell you, the way you do the things you do! He is telling Timothy about all the poor choices that could be made. He is telling him how folk want to be saved but live like they don’t know who Jesus is and what he came to die for. He is telling his friend how choices that are against the will of
God can hinder ones Christian relationship. He talks about how even on lock down – because he chose the right course – because he fought a good fight – he knows that God has a pair of wings, and some golden slippers to match his beautiful wings and glorious crown. All because he could have done anything that he wanted to --- but because he loved the Lord enough to obey his will and allow him to order his steps, he will get to hear the Lord say – you fought a good fight, you finished your course, now sit down servant, your victory is won, because you could have been anything that you wanted to , but I can tell you the way you do the things you do. When folk tried to get you to turn your back on me – you just kept on pressing on the upward way. When trials came your way, you never gave up, but you just put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee. When your child made poor choices that cause your heart to grieve, you just put your trust in me because you knew I cared. Each morning despite what the day might have brought – you said this is the day that the Lord has made – I will rejoice and be glad in it. When your old life began to call you back – you didn’t go running back into the hell you left. I like what I saw. Yes, you made some mistakes, but you asked for forgiveness and didn’t continue to repeat. Yes, you tripped up sometimes, but you earnestly tried to live a life that is pleasing to me. You could have been anything that you wanted to, but I can tell you the way you do the things you do. But everyone will not get this report. Constant and continuous backsliding all because of the assumption you are already saved. But Matthew 7:22-23 let’s us know that salvation is more than lip action. Salvation is more than saying you believe, your actions need to give evidence that you believe. It says, 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. In other words those fold who say one thing but do another. “I love the Lord” as long as it doesn’t interfere with my sleep. “I will serve the Lord” along as it is not on the day I go to the boat. “I will work God’s work” as long as I get to chair it and run it and do it all by myself to get all the glory and praise. “I will testify of your goodness” as long as it is around folk I know and feel comfortable with. “I will witness to folk” as long as I am certain they won’t tell me no, and since that is not a gauranty I don’t have to testify. ‘I wont’ complain” unless its about what somebody did wrong or what somebody didn’t do, or what I ain’t got. “I will bless the Lord at all times” except when I want to get high and hang with the folk he called me away from. “I will surrender my life to the Lord” as long as I don’t have to give up what I want to do, how I want to do it, when I want to do it. But he won’t be excited, and when he remembers the things that we do, it will be with sorrow – he will have to turn you away, saying, you could have been anything that you wanted to , but I can tell you the way you do the things you do. Now I want him to be as excited about my choice as the Temptations were excited about that girls choice.