2 Timothy 4

 

Scripture

2 Timothy 4:1

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

Observation – What does it say?

This passage, 2 Timothy 4:1-8, is bookended in both verses 1 and 8 with mention of the appearing of Jesus (his second coming). All of Paul’s commands to Timothy in this passage are given because Jesus is coming again:

  • preaching the word
  • enduring hardship
  • evangelizing
  • fulfilling his ministry

Then, Paul, nearing the end of his life and ministry, points to himself as an example of someone who already did it. Paul said he had…

  • fought the good fight
  • finished the race
  • kept the faith
  • and will now receive the crown of righteousness from God

Who will receive the crown besides Paul? Paul says “all who have longed for [Jesus’] appearing” (verse 8). It’s those who lived their lives thinking about and eagerly anticipating Jesus’ second coming.

Understanding – What does it mean?

The key to living a faithful life and finishing well is constant awareness of Jesus’ appearing!

If my ability to say what Paul did at the end of his life (verses 7-8) was only based on how I lived my life today, would I be able to? It’s important for us to consider that, because a life that “fought the good fight” and was able to “finish the race” and that “kept the faith” is made up of a life that DAILY chose each of those 3 things. 

Life Application

Make my daily decisions in light of Jesus’ second coming!

Daily I will be tempted to nap and be complacent rather than read my Bible or pray, to walk rather than run in this race, and to give into doubt rather than believe God at his word. But daily, I must choose rightly if I want to be able to say the same as Paul at the end of my life! I must make decisions through the filter of,

“Jesus is coming back. If he came back right now, which decision would I want him to find me making?”

God, fill us with excitement and anticipation for your second coming! May we be a church that lives and makes decisions in light of eternity. It’s only when we do, that we will be motivated to preach the word, endure hardship, share our faith and fulfill our ministry. Bless each person who reads this to be able to echo Paul’s words at the end of their own lives. Amen.

– Levi Thompson
 
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