Ready for Your Own Funeral
II Timothy 4:6-8
The other day I had a conversation with a family about death and dying. Preachers probably have those kinds of discussions more often than most people. In this case, I we were talking about a family member who had passed away a year or so ago. Someone remarked how she had known for a couple of years that she was dying of cancer.
The conversation turned to whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to know in advance that you're dying. On one hand, you have time to prepare. On the other hand, it might be better to go without having to think about it for so long. That knowledge has a way of casting a dark shadow over everything. Maybe it would be better just to drop dead without having to dwell on it. It would be a tough call –whether you would want to know or not.
If the truth be told--we all know! The real issue is when not if! Human mortality is 100%. Some of just act like we are going to be the exception. Hollywood star, Woody Allen, spoke for a lot of people when he said, "It's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens."
Did you hear about the three guys discussing their obituaries? One asked, "What would you like folk to say at your wake?" One of his buddies thought for minute, "I'd like them to say 'He was a great humanitarian who cared about his community.'" The fellow who had initiated the conversation replied, "I'd like them to say 'He was a great husband and father who was an example for many to follow.'" The two nodded in agreement and looked to the silent buddy. Without hesitation he added, "I'd like them to say 'Look, he's moving!'"
Our text was penned by a man who knew his days were numbered. These words come from the last chapter of the last book written by the Apostle Paul. This kind of confidence in the face of death doesn't happen by accident. Paul looks death in the face and says, "I am ready." Note the two illustrations ...
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