2 Timothy 4:6-8
Paul’s charge to Timothy this time bears more weight. He’s about to die. He’s passing on the reigns of ministry to Timothy in what could very well be his final words to his beloved protégé. Paul said “but you” to Timothy several times and along the way we get the impression he’s contrasting what Timothy should do with what the false teachers were doing, and that is what Paul was saying, but he’s also probably contrasting to himself since he won’t be able to continue. He had poured out his life for the gospel and was quite literally about to empty that drink. I don’t get the impression that it bothered him. I think he really, truly believed that “to live is Christ and to die is gain.” I think he was ready, even longing to receive his reward. He wasn’t worried about anything. He trusted Jesus’ salvation and was proud of how he’d served since the time he was called. He stayed faithful through an onslaught persecution from worldly people, unseen spiritual warfare, fellow Jews, and even people claiming to be believers. He battled nature and overcame. He never lost his faith. He never stopped ministering. He never quit fighting the good fight. He didn’t give in. And that’s not just pride of looking back on his life, it’s a message to Timothy to live the same way. He’s encouraging his protégé to fight and run just as hard and faithfully. This is a beautiful final letter from mentor to protégé. He’s handing over the reigns of ministry. What an honor! That’s how I’d love to go out. Run hard, prepare someone else to take my place, then hand it over at the right time. Then receive the reward Jesus earned for me. There’s no greater end than that. Death here, suffering here all fades away in light of the reward of being with the Tri-une God eternally with no more sin, pain, death, or sadness. Father, by Your Holy Spirit, fix my eyes on the prize. Fix my eyes on Jesus!
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