Today you should read: 2 Timothy 4:9-22
When death comes knocking on the door, I’m convinced that one’s true purpose and desires come out. You see this in certain celebrities’ last words before they died.
- Musician, Bob Marley said to his brother, “money can’t buy life.”
- Whiskey founder, Jack Daniels was recorded saying, “one last drink, please.”
- Famous occultist, Aleister Crowley said, “I am perplexed. Satan get out.” (shows his true heart in light of the black magic he was promoting)
- There’s a website called “death letters.org” where people anonymously write their last words and it’s heartbreaking.
Aside from cultural examples, we also see how this is true in Scripture as King Solomon pours out his heart in the book of Ecclesiastes saying that “much of life is meaningless but to remember the Creator in the days of your youth.” We see it in Jesus’ final prayer as He prays for us, Himself, and asks God if there can be another way to take away the sins of the world aside from the torture He is about to encounter but in the end saying, “Father, your will be done,” and “it is finished.”
Finally, we see it in the apostle Paul’s last letter while he was sitting in prison knowing that he will very shortly face death. Paul’s heart bleeds out in this letter, and like most people before they face death, his true purpose and desires surface. However, it’s kind of surprising how he ends it knowing that this may be the very last thing he’s going to communicate before dying.
You see, Paul ends his last letter with a genuine, compassionate concern and care for PEOPLE. No great sermon closer. No great quote that can be posted up on Lifeway coffee mugs or painted on the back wall of churches across the world. No famous one-liner that can be printed on cheesy t-shirts or put on a wristband. Paul’s last words reveal an in-depth knowledge of where people are in his ministry. The people to whom he ministered and the people he ministered with are his closing signature and shows what was on his heart when death is at his doorstep. When you are about to die would you be giving a spiritual report on the people God has entrusted you with? Paul loves people to the very end. People who encouraged him, people he had sent out on mission, and, people who have hurt and deserted him.
I bring this up because I, like Paul, believe that the greatest legacies are made when we invest our time into people. Not position. Not power. Not prestige. That’s how the world views legacies. But we serve a God who loves people and uses people to pass the Gospel from generation to generation. This means that you should already be ministering to people and you should never give up on them, always remembering that God never gave up on us, demonstrated by what Jesus accomplished through the cross. Is your heart’s true purpose and motives the same as Paul? The same as Jesus? If it is, you will love God and love people to the very end.
Posted by:Erik Koliser