Finishing the race with endurance!
Scripture reading for July 8th: Ecclesiastes 10-12, 2nd Timothy 4
2nd Timothy 4:5-8 “As for you (Timothy), always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved His appearing.”
Paul’s earthly life was at its ending. He encouraged Timothy, his son in the faith, to always be about the work of evangelism to which the Lord had called him. This would require sober-minded dedication and focus. Paul had set Timothy an example to follow of faithfulness, even to imprisonment and ultimately to being martyred for Christ. Paul had fought a good fight of faith, patiently and faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Word, and living it out by example. He had run his race to the finish line and awaited the crown of the victor, which the Lord would award him in the Day of Christ. This crown was for all who would fight to the finish and run to win.
2nd Timothy 4:17-18 “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for standing by me all the years of my life and for the promise You will bring me safely into Your heavenly kingdom! I am endeavoring to fight the good fight of faith each day and to finish the race You set before me. I claim by faith the crown of righteousness that Paul said was for all who loved Your appearing!
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 “The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”