Theme of the Week: Mission Possible
Bible Verse: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,1 Timothy 6:12
We have been focusing on 2 Timothy 4:5, listening to Paul’s last words of advice to his spiritual son, Timothy. The advice given so many centuries ago has stood the test of time. While the advice seems hard to follow, we have tried to discern together some small steps we can take towards them.
Jumping down two verses, we read that Paul recognizes that his time is coming to an end. Paul places a high priority on finishing well. Look at the verbs Paul used here: fight, finish, keep. He fought hard to stay true to the call of God, to do his best, and to persevere against difficulty and persecution. His recognized that the journey God had him on was a long race, needing endurance to finish well. He cherished his faith in God; he kept that faith to the end.
Why is Paul sharing this? Bragging? Doubtful. He’s painting a picture of how he wants Timothy to finish, but also how he can live right now. He is encouraging Timothy to be all in for God now, so that in the end, the same can be said of the generations after him.
Let’s put what Paul is saying into a different context. If Paul was a football coach, playing the last game of the year, the championship, his pre-game speech would be: Leave it all on the field. Play to the very last minute. Remember the goals we set at the beginning and finish strong to accomplish them. Play for each other.
Leonard Ravenhill, a great preacher and teacher, once said, “Five minutes inside eternity and we will wish that we had sacrificed more, wept more, grieved more, loved and prayed more, and given more.”
Now is the time to be sober-minded, to endure suffering, to do the work of an evangelist, to fulfill your ministry, to fight the good fight, to finish strong, and to keep the faith.
Thanks for the pep talk, Paul! We needed it.
Prayer: God, please direct me to do the right things today that will help me finish my race well. Thanks for being with me every step of the way.
Reflect: Your mission, if you choose to accept it: What is the good fight Paul is talking about? What does keeping the faith mean?
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