Devotional: September 29th
2 Timothy 4:1-22
Even if many turn a deaf ear to the truth (v. 4), the Lord’s servant must nevertheless preach, warn, "be instant in season, out of season", reprove, rebuke, exhort . . ., in a word fully carry out his service (vv. 2, 5). Paul had set the example of it. His course was finished. Sportsmen know that a competition is never decided before the finishing line is reached. Giving up or allowing oneself to be overtaken in the final metres means that the whole race is lost . . . with its prize. Those final strides are often the most difficult. The beloved apostle gives us a moving glimpse of the final conditions of his fight and of his course: prison, cold, nakedness (1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 11:27; here he asks for his cloak, v. 13), wickedness and opposition of men (vv. 14, 15), his appearance before Caesar (Nero) in the absence of all his friends (v. 16). These had scattered. Demas had even deserted him. We cannot belong to those who love this present world (v. 10) and, at the same time, to those who love the Lord’s appearing (v. 8). The epistle closes on the supreme resource in a time of ruin: grace. It was the apostle’s greeting (2 Timothy 1:2); it is also his farewell (v. 22). May this grace be with each one of us!
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