Time was running out; he sensed his execution looming. While Paul hoped to see Timothy one last time, he also knew this letter might be his last chance to share his thoughts and words of encouragement with his spiritual son.
Paul wrote Second Timothy from a Roman prison shortly before his death. No time remained for trivial chit chat. Paul needed to tell Timothy the important things, the things that had eternal significance.
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus… 2 Preach the word of God… Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear… 5 Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:1-3,5, NLT
Rejecting God’s Truth
Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it? Many of us reject the truth of God – either in whole or in part – because it conflicts with our sinful desires. Instead, we listen to the voices that condone our behavior. That way we mistakenly think we don’t need to change.
Years earlier, Paul had heard the truth of Christ on the road to Damascus and had fully submitted his life to God. And Paul never looked back.
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8, NLT
Faithful to the End
For Paul, physical life meant an opportunity to serve Christ and he had been faithful. But with his earthly service almost complete, Paul would soon meet his Savior. Emperor Nero would order his execution, the guillotine blade would drop, and Paul would receive his reward.
Paul longed for Timothy to run his race with the same faithfulness. To earn the prize and stand before Christ without shame of defeat.
Are you faithful in your Christian race? Are you fighting the good fight?
What kind of things tend to trip you up on the path?
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I would say what trips me up is being discouraged. I question often if I make a difference and point others to Christ.
Iris, discouragement is big for me too! When I have stretches without seeing any “fruit” sometimes it’s hard to keep on going. I guess that’s why Paul said we must keep our eyes on Christ and the eternal prize.