2 Timothy 4: 7 -22
2 Timothy 4: 7 -22 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 9Do your best to come to me quickly, 10for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion's mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
19Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.
22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
In these final words, Paul reveals his loneliness and his strong love for his brothers and sisters in Christ. He was a man of deep faith, undying love, constant hope, tenacious conviction and profound insight. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to give us God’s message. As we read 2nd Timothy we should recommit ourselves to stand courageously for the truth, to know the Word and to use the power given us by the Holy Spirit.
2nd Timothy tells us:
To renew our vision for worship by embracing the lifestyle of devotion to God. (2 Timothy 1:3)
To renew our vision for prayer. (2 Timothy 1:4-5)
To renew our vision for service. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)
To renew our vision for outreach (2 Timothy 1:8a)
To renew our vision for nurture (2 Timothy 1:8b-10)
I want to end with the final one. We renew our vision for nurture by responding to God’s invitation to a Holy Life. Grace brought us into a relationship with God. There is nothing we can do to contribute to our salvation. But with the Gospel comes a call to live a holy life; a life of spiritual depth and growth.
Once God saves us, He calls us to live differently. He calls us to be transformed. We are to grow and mature. To put down spiritual roots that are nourished by the truth of God. He calls us to live a holy life. The church needs to be a place where Christians are growing into wholeness and non-Christians are discovering Christ.
Spiritual growth is accelerated in small groups. Small groups should pray together, study the Bible together and serve together. We need to learn to think deeply and Biblically about issues that face us in the world.
So, to conclude: we need to constantly renew our vision for worship, prayer, service, outreach and nurture. This vision isn’t renewed by reading a book or hearing a sermon. It’s renewed by actually worshipping, actually praying, using our gifts to serve, actually testifying about Jesus and actually responding to God’s call to a holy life. There is no substitute for action.
Prayer: Lord, You have given us a vision for our lives. A sense of purpose about what You’ve called us to do. Fill us so with Your love that it overflows to others. Give us hearts that continually strive to do Your will. Grow our faith. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.