SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Today you read the last recorded words of Paul. We will still read a few more books of the Bible written by him, but chronologically, this was his last letter before being executed for refusing to stop telling people about Jesus.
- In verse 2, Paul encourages Timothy to follow his example by also "preaching the word," and to always be ready to share Jesus and God's teachings.
- Verses 7 and 8 give us the impression that Paul knows his end is coming, and is ready to die.
- Starting in verse 9 there are a lot of personal remarks, and (verses 17-18) an explanation that Paul had always relied on God (not himself, or others) and that he was continuing to trust God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to be ready to die. That sounds morbid, and we're probably not as close to dying as Paul was when he wrote this, but we will die someday, and we don't know when. When we do, will we be able to join Paul in saying, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith"? What about, "through me the message" was "fully proclaimed"? And that we're confident we will receive the "crown of righteousness" awarded to us by God?
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- If you were to die tomorrow, what regrets would you have? Not things like, "I never went to Hawaii," but as you stand before God, what regrets will you have about how you lived (or didn't live) for Him? The good news is that you probably still have some years left to erase those future regrets. Commit today, with God's help, to live every one of your tomorrow's as God wants you to, fighting the good fight and fully proclaiming His message.