2 Timothy 4
This is the last chapter of Paul’s letters to Timothy. He starts this chapter giving Timothy a charge. Not a request, not a suggestion, a charge. Preach the Word!
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 1-2 ESV)
Many times we tell our children “remember whose you are”. This is in essence what Paul was telling Timothy when he tells him “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus”. He reminds him that Jesus is the only one to judge the living and the dead, that by his appearing and his kingdom “preach the word”. Yes that is a charge for pastors, to be ready in season and out of season. But I think it is a charge for all of us. We should all be studying the word in order to be ready in season or out of season. For we never know when we may have to defend, or to tell a seeking person, what we believe. It is our responsibility to study the word so that we can know good doctrine when we hear it.
Paul goes on in this chapter talking about a day when people will have “itching ears” to hear what they want to hear. Well I think we can say that we are living there too right now. People will turn away from truth and wander away into myths. Sound familiar?
I think this letter is beginning to sound a little like maybe Paul isn’t so sure He is going to be rescued from this prison. In the next paragraph Paul tells Timothy he has already been poured out as a drink offering. What he is saying here is I have given all I can give. I have nothing left in me to give. But he also lets it be known that when it’s his time he is ready.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7 ESV)
Paul is letting Timothy know that if this is the end of his earthly ministry that he is ready. He is claiming his crown of righteousness and acknowledges that there are others who have and worked and loved also.
Paul also goes along to request a face to face with Timothy. He asks him to come to him and to pick up a few things along the way. He asks him for a cloak that he had left behind and his books and scrolls. This tells me that Paul is not finished learning. He may know that he is nearing the end of his life but he still hungers to learn. As we should all do. I pray that the Lord will allow me to learn right up until the day he takes me home.
“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” 2 Tim. 4:22
The commentary I read made it sound like this may have been Paul’s last written words. I am not sure if they are but I can tell you that should be our prayer for all people. So for today I leave you with this.
The Lord be with your spirit and Grace be with you! What more could we ask.
Please pray for your service industry, small businesses and let’s add to this to please pray for our first responders.