Famous Last Words

28/06/2012 by Jim Stephens

Reference(s): Amos 1-3; Psalm 80; 2 Timothy 4

Scripture:

6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God.The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished therace, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown ofrighteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that greatday of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerlylook forward to his glorious return. (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT)

This is one of the most poignantsections of the Bible for me.  Paul iswriting from prison, feeling lonely, aware that his life is nearing its end.  This is a very personal letter to his son inthe faith, Timothy, pastor of the church in Ephesus, a church Paul dearly loved.  These words are kind of like “last words” or“last will and testament” in which Paul lets down his guard and simply writesfrom his heart.

When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.(2 Timothy 4:13 NLT)  For some reason, Paul’s request to Timothy tobring his coat and books really touches me. It does more to make Paul human than anything else he has written.

Paul, who has poured out his lifein missionary and local church service, is aware the end is near and he’s notgoing to have the opportunity to do much more ministry.  He knows that for Christianity to continue toreach out across the world, it now depends on Timothy and the others like himwho Paul has taught and mentored.

As he thinks of all he has done,all the lives he has touched, and all those who are following Christ into afuture he knows he will not see, Paul is fully confident in his eternal futurein Christ’s Kingdom and satisfied that he has done the will of God andfulfilled the purpose for which God called him.

Prayer:

Father, Please help me to live and serve day by day in such a way thatif I have the opportunity to write something to a dear friend as I near the endof my life, I can look back and say “I have fought a good fight, I havefinished the race, and I have remained faithful.”  Amen.

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