October 25 - Finishing Well
Nearing the end of his life, Paul poured out his heart to Timothy about how he looked at his life at that point in time. He urged Timothy to finish well just like what he had done for his life. To him, Christ was near, either He should come back or Paul would go to be with Him. Christ, for Paul, is the One who judges the living and the dead. We live in the shadow of His coming or appearing and are inside of His Kingdom. With that he charges Timothy with the main thing: preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching.
Proclaiming the Word of God is the work of every servant of God and because of the lack of spiritual appetite of God’s people, they will not listen but turn to their own passions and wander off into myths or something that is not real. To be an evangelist, to be a herald of the gospel, one must endure much opposition and persecution in order to fulfill one’s ministry. It is so easy to give up and be discouraged but Paul cited his own example for Timothy to hold on.
The time for his departure had come and Paul was ready to pour out his life as a drink offering to the Lord. He was ready to give up his life even in the line of duty. His only concern was not his own personal safety but to finish well. He had finished the fight, he had completed the race and he had kept the faith. What he had to look forward to was the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, would award to him on that Day.
There were those who could not finish well. Demas loved this present world and deserted Paul and went on to Thessalonica. Cresens had gone to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. Only Luke was faithful to the end, staying with Paul for his final journey of life. It was not easy for Paul to finish well in the midst of severe opposition and persecution. Alexander the coppersmith did great harm to him and his message. No one went to him when he tried to make a defense for himself. While everyone had deserted him, the Lord stood by him and strengthened him so that once again he could fully proclaim the gospel message to the Gentiles. He was even rescued from the lion’s mouth.
Like Paul, we can only trust in the Lord to rescue us from every evil deed and bring us to safety of His heavenly Kingdom. How is your life today? Are you in the beginning, the middle or near the end? It is not about how you have begun but more importantly, how you finish. Do you want to hit the finish line well, knowing fully that you have done your part and that the crown is up there waiting for you? Pray for God’s help to finish well.
Ps 119:25-32 Jer 48:1-49:22 2 Tim 4:1-22 Prov 26:9-12