2 Timothy 4
Several years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany my husband to Rome on one of his business trips. It was amazing. Being in the city that received Paul’s letter to the Romans thousands of years ago. Seeing the ruins that date back to the time of Paul. Walking on the ancient stone road that has led into town for many, many centuries – most likely the very road that Paul travelled. Even standing at the doors of the Mamertine Prison which housed Roman prisoners awaiting execution which very well may have been the last known address for Paul, as he wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (4:7). It makes you think about your own fight – your own race – your own faith.
For, whatever cell he was writing from – Paul faced death knowing he had been faithful – not perfect, but faithful. He was now more than ever looking forward to, “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8). He was content with how he had spent his life serving Christ, even with the persecutions and ultimate death it was to bring. Now, he looked forward to Jesus’ return – on that day!
I want to have that same assurance and that same contentment. And, I want that for you, too. And for those who will go after us. Paul, too, was thinking ahead – not only for himself – but for those who would remain fighting the fight, running the race and keeping the faith. And so he was passionate about having Timothy prepared and encouraged and strengthened to, “Preach the Word: be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2). Paul wrote of those who would be forsaking truth to follow their own desires and what their “itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3). Sadly, there are a lot of itching ears today and truth is too often abandoned in exchange for what is politically correct, socially acceptable or just plain convenient and selfishly desired.
Do you still have life in you – then fight like Paul fought – for the sake of Christ.
Do you still have a race to run – then run like Paul taught Timothy to run – for the spiritual lives of others.
Do you still have faith – then keep it, grow it, and pass it on!
Longing for His Appearing,
It’s always a pleasure writing on God’s Word with you – but for the rest of this week I will be passing on the torch to my daughter Makayla who will be writing 3 days on the book of Titus. Stay tuned. Stay faithful!