2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NIV) 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
On verses 1-8: In a very formal way where he even calls on God the Father and Jesus Christ as his witnesses (v1), Paul charges Timothy to preach the Word (v2) — that is, to preach Jesus. He tells Timothy to preach the Word in season and out of season (i.e. whenever he can). Just as the Scriptures are useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training people in righteousness (see 3:16), Paul tells Timothy to teach, correct, rebuke and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction (v2).
Why does Paul give Timothy this formal charge? It’s for 2 reasons:
1. Paul knew that in a world where there is great opposition against the truth of God’s Word and where false teaching is so rampant, the world is in desperate need of strong preachers of God’s Word and faithful, resilient pastors. As Paul writes in verse 3, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
Like in Paul and Timothy’s time, the world needs strong preachers and faithful, persevering pastors more than ever. The world more than ever needs Christians who are willing to preach the Word of God with great wisdom, courage, sensitivity, and love. I pray that you would be a Christian who lives out loud and preaches Jesus through your words and actions.
2. The second reason Paul charges Timothy to preach the Word is because Paul knew that his time on earth was nearing an end. As Paul writes in verse 6, “the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day” (v6-8).
Paul knew that his own time on earth was coming to an end, so he charges Timothy to carry on the ministry. This was Paul passing the torch to his disciple Timothy.
What can we learn from this? Have a heart for the next generation. When your own time on earth is done, may you be able to say that you invested in the next generation. May you be able to say that you didn’t just live for your own success or happiness, but that you did everything you could to set up the next generation for success, to do greater things, reach higher heights, and impact the world for Jesus in ways that your generation never did.
That was Paul’s heart, a sign that he wasn’t in it for himself. Paul longed to see Jesus brought to every nation and every generation, even after he had departed. I pray that you and I would have a similar heart for the next generation.
Heavenly Father, I pray that each of us who is reading this GAME sharing and who believes in You would be a courageous preacher of Your Word, both through their words and their actions. Help them to preach Your Word with courage, wisdom, sensitivity and love for the lost. May we always be 100% convinced that people are lost without Jesus and that we absolutely need to get the message of Jesus out to as many people as possible. We pray also for a heart for the next generation. May we invest our lives in helping the next generation to succeed in ways that we never did. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!