Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Finishing Strong (II Timothy 4:7-8)

Scholars believe the book of II Timothy is Paul’s last letter, written while in a Roman prison awaiting trial and probably death. This context helps us understand the urgency and importance of the letter. Paul loves Timothy as a son and wants to communicate some closing remarks and ask Timothy to come see him as soon as possible.

In II Timothy 4:7-8 Paul states, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me 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 loved his appearing.”

Paul knows his days are numbered, and he is reflecting on his life and faith. He sets a great example for us in how to live and to finish strong. We need to follow his example and fight the good fight of the Christian life. We need to finish the race – the many years ahead of us where we can live all out for Christ. We need to keep the faith and passionately follow our Lord all the days of our life.

We do this because our triune God – Father, Son & Holy Spirit – is glorious, gracious, and loving. He first loved us and is worthy of our love. He awakened our hearts and desires the full attention of our hearts. He is all-wise and all-knowing and should be the main focus our thoughts.

And at the same time, we can look forward to “the crown of righteousness” that our Lord will award us on the day we meet him. There is great reward for the Christian – in this life and especially in the future when we are with God in heaven.

How are you currently fighting the faith? Are your determined to run the race all out for God? Are you committed to finishing strong? Are you faithfully praying for help from the Holy Spirit to do this and to keep the faith?

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