Tuesday, August 4th
I Have Kept the Faith
“There are two things that are a certainty in life: death and taxes” is an old saying that I’m sure most people are familiar with. While we may not like either idea (dying or paying taxes), it is an unavoidable part of life that we need to be prepared for. Paul has written to Timothy, his beloved son, warning him of some of the harsh realities that he will face in his life, which he must be ready to face.
#1. He must be equipped to face the certainty of death. Paul tells him in 2 Timothy 4:6, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.” While we know the fact of death awaits all of us, we need to ask, “Am I prepared for it?” As you think about this, you need to consider whether you are ready, but also, how ready are those whom you leave behind? In 2 Timothy 2:10 Paul describes that he endured innumerable hardships in life for the sake of those who were chosen, so that they could obtain salvation in Jesus Christ. Do you know Jesus Christ as Saviour? This is crucial; this is the only way that you can be ready for death!
#2. Timothy must be prepared for hardship in life. In 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul describes in detail how Demas, Crescans and Titus have abandoned him, Alexander the coppersmith did much harm to him, and there were many evil deeds done to him as well. The reality of life is that since we have an adversary the devil he will do all that he can to disrupt our lives as we live for God. Peter wrote about this when he said in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Paul wants Timothy to be ready for difficult times. Are you ready for difficulties, persecutions, abandonment, and evil deeds being committed against you?
#3. While Paul warns Timothy about problems he also assures him about victory. Paul has faced adversity, evil, abandonment, and harm, but more importantly he has done so with the Lord at his side and God has delivered him out of the lion’s mouth, so that the Gentiles could hear the gospel. In Romans 8 Paul wrote that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. The message is clear to Timothy as it should be to us. In this life, we will face many foes, but we must guard the treasure of the gospel in our lives. If we do so, we will not falter. Let’s remember that because God is with us we cannot be defeated; we will be victorious. If we follow God fully, and like Paul, Timothy, and other ‘faithful men,’ guard the treasure and fulfill our ministry, then we will, like them, will be able to say, at the end of our life, “I have kept the faith.” Do you want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant?” Then our final challenge becomes: Guard the Treasure. Fulfill our ministry. And the things that we have learned from the Lord, through Paul in this 2 Timothy Summer Challenge, we need to pass on to other faithful followers. My prayer for each of us is that we will rise to the challenge and keep the faith.