It’s doubtful that we could find a more nostalgic, emotional letter written by the Apostle Paul. Facing death alone in a dungeon, surrounded by memories, and exposed to the elements, this grand old man wrote by candlelight a letter to his dear friend, Timothy. Paul had no assurance it would ever reach him but, nevertheless, he wrote it. And we are so grateful he did!
A last will and testament of sorts, 2 Timothy is filled with strong exhortations, insightful instructions, and intimate reflections—and it spurred Timothy onward in his race of faith. It will do the same for us…if we hear and heed its admonitions.
Following Christ ought to come with a warning label: Christianity is a battleground, not a playground.
Paul ran to win (2 Timothy 4:7–8) and he wanted the same for Timothy. But how? Here are four ways to finish well, found in 2 Timothy 3:14–17.
People who live with conviction no longer react to life, or float along taking life as it comes. These people initiate action because they are motivated by their beliefs.
Timothy ministered in Ephesus, some 830 miles to the southeast. Ministry was troublesome. Heretical hounds barked and bit. And the naturally reserved Timothy had grown weary and timid. A few tender words from his mentor were just the boost of confidence and courage the young pastor needed.
Onesiphorus played a vital role in Paul's life through his rare yet wonderful ability to give breathing room, to provide cooling relief, and to help in the healing process.
Some of God’s choicest saints were reluctant (like Moses), rebellious (like Jonah), and fearful (like Timothy). Despite his timidity, Timothy was called to follow God onto the battleground. To do so, the young man needed courage to stand for Christ, even if it meant suffering.
Every verse in 2 Timothy echoes this everlasting truth: “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date”—including the last six verses of chapter 1. In these verses, Paul reminded Timothy (and us) that only two things are really eternal and worthy of lifelong investment.
Stiffen your resolve! Paul gave us five steps to do just that. All that’s left is for you to answer one question—a question only you can answer. Are you willing to give God your very best?