A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Paul’s second letter to Timothy is written near the end of Paul’s life
– most likely during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero (c. 67-68). At this point Paul is imprisoned in a cold dungeon (4:13), is difficult for his friends to find (1:17), and is chained like a common criminal (1:16; 2:9). His statement in 4:6-8 is one of the most famous in all his writings.
Certain purposes for this letter are clear:
1) Paul wanted company – his friends had left him and wanted to see Timothy again; 2) he was concerned about the believers in Ephesus as they faced continuing persecution; 3) he wanted to address the Ephesians at least one more time before he died.
Chapter 1 and 2 contain greetings and then a long exhortation to be faithful.
Whatever suffering may be involved in proclaiming the gospel is nothing compared with its surpassing greatness. As is the case in his letter to the Philippians, Paul is able to point to his own life as a pattern
for others to follow – particularly in terms of his teaching and witness. The reminiscences and prayers in this section are moving!
Paul urges Timothy to make sure the message is passed on to faithful men.
The need for continuity with the message of Christ is paramount. Paul also defines what it means to be faithful: enduring hardship, pleasing the commanding officer, following the standards God has set. We have confidence in Christ’s ultimate power and victory.
It is crucial to understand and apply God’s Word accurately
because the world is filled with false teaching and evil temptations and the Lord’s servant
must strive to be above reproach at all times. The last days
will be filled with challenge and difficulty for Christ’s followers, but the man of God
is fortified by God’s Word and through its understanding and application is enabled to serve God in season and out of season
(i.e., when it is easy and when it is difficult).
The closing comments made by Paul are quite poignant as they may be his last recorded.
They convey a sense of loneliness and faith at the same time Paul is expressing a final affirmation of his confidence in God’s grace and love. His human concerns are clearly seen, but so also is his devotion to God.
If your life were to end today, cause you say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day!”
What steps do you need to take to put you more in line with such an affirmation? Make one or more of them today!
© A. Eugene Pearson