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Ready to preach, pray or die at any given moment March 24, 2007

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.
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I have used that phrase for so many years now that I don’t even remember where I picked it up first. I think I first heard it from Reuben Welch, author of the best selling book, “We Really Do Need Each Other”.

My best friend, Dave Woods’ called me on it recently when we were visiting his church in Ohio. And my friend, Billy Long called me on it last week in Bible study. So what does it mean to me?

Ready to Preach?

Paul said in Romans 1:15, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” KJV

The NASB says, “So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

For these reasons mentioned in the preceding verses, he was ready, if he had an opportunity, to preach the gospel at Rome. Though it was a public place, though it was a dangerous place, where Christianity met with a great deal of opposition, (remember, the Roman Emperor was fond of dipping Christians in tar and impaling them on pikes and then lighting them on fire to light his parties) yet Paul was ready to run the risk at Rome, if the opportunity came to him:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the best known preachers of the late 1800’s wonders if Paul didn’t use the words “I am ready” as his motto. Almost the first words out of his mouth when he was saved were, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” (Acts 9:6)

Ready to Pray?

Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.”

Mark 13:33 says, “Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”

Mark 14:38 says, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly [is] ready, but the flesh [is] weak.”

Luke 21:36 says, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

James 5:16 says, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

But, I caution you. Praying is sometimes the easy part. The hard part is often the “taking our hands off and letting God deal with it in His timing” part. Or the “patiently waiting upon the Lord” part.

Ready to Die?

For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain. But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh [is] more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.

Philippians 1:21-26 KJV

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

Philippians 1:21-26 NIV

We all have a somewhat natural fear of death and dieing. I suppose it is partly because of the reluctance of leaving our loved ones. God has given to us beautiful and loving relationships, and the thought of being separated from these relationships is difficult. We are never ready it seems to let them go. We hear the phrase “hang on for dear life”. Often we are hanging on too dearly to this life.

Part of the fear comes from the unknown. There is always a certain fear of the unknown. For the unsaved, there are many unknown factors concerning, death that if they were known, they would have an even greater fear of death. For the believer, if we only knew all of the facts, we would have no fear at all. Rather, we would be like Paul, willing to be absent from this body that we might be present with the Lord.

In Philippians 1:23 Paul speaks of his mixed emotions, he had a desire to depart from this body and be with Christ, which he said was far better, yet he felt a necessity to live a little longer because of the loving relationships and he felt that they still needed his spiritual guidance.
In his letter to the Corinthians he mentioned how that we who are in these bodies often groan, earnestly desiring to be freed, not that we would be unbodied, but we longed for our new bodies in heaven.

So what does this mean to me?

I address this post primarily to men today. And the message to us as men is this. You and I are called to be the Spiritual leaders of our homes. I can think of no better way to live before our wives and children’s eyes than like Paul writes about in the passages that we have looked at in this blog post.

Paul was ready to preach – And maybe that is just a poor choice of words. What he is saying to us that we are to be ready to proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To give a reason for the hope that lies within us. “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV

Paul was ready to pray – There is nothing more important that we can can do than to pray. Pray for ourselves, lest we fall into temptation. Pray for our family and loved ones. Pray for our leaders in the Church and in the government.

Paul was ready to die – He says late in his life that he has run the race. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness,” 2 Tim. 4:6-7 NIV

Are you ready for whatever God will put in your path today or this week?

Are you ready to meet Him if He were to call you home right now?

Would you like to be?

You can be! By the authority of God’s Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit you can be ready to “preach, pray, or die” at any given moment.

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Comments»

1. Scott - March 26, 2007

This was a very good discussion last week Kevin. I truly enjoyed it and thank you for allowing the Spirit to talk through you on this.

Hope all went well with your daughter going back to college, missed ya’ll yesterday.

Blessings
Scott

2. Kevin - March 27, 2007

Thanks for your encouraging words. I had a great time at the Men’s Bible Study. I forgot how much fun I have teaching.

We had a great visit with Lib! She is back safe and sound in Ohio.

3. Kevin - March 27, 2007

I was sort of hoping for some kind of comment from a certain preacher up in Ohio…

especially since I mentioned him in the post!


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