I have spoken to a lot of people about relationships over the years and there is one complaint or issue that I hear over and over again. You may have even said these words yourself: “No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to be the person he/she wants me to be…” We all want to be the best that we can be. We all want to be the best employee, the best mother, the best husband, the best father, the best wife etc. Naturally we there is a cost to being the best anything, but are we charging the right account…
Christianity is not a race, although some might think it is. The goal is not to do more good deeds than the next person or to be more upstanding or righteous than everyone else. But similar to a race, life on earth is something that we will one day finish. Then the question becomes: How will you finish?
Society today is at an interesting point. Information is only a click away, we are bombarded by streams of data to process everywhere you turn! I can pretty much find out about anything or any public figure that tickles my fancy in mere moments. We are such a super-productive society!! Oh wait, no we aren’t… It seems that we are also in an era of being lackadaisical. Laziness and mediocrity both at home and at work seem par for the course these days. Kids don’t play outside anymore and just enough work to get the job done seems to be the order of the day, but is this the biblical model for work and play? No…
Society today moves at the speed of thought. We can put a thought into action almost as fast as we can think it. With modern technology the way it is I can dream up a business idea, register the corporation, possess all related domain names and social networking services, and have a presence in place in about an hour. The length of time between thought and action has decreased dramatically. As Christians we must control our actions, just because we can think of something doesn’t mean we should do it. Some things we shouldn’t think at all… So how are we to keep our thoughts under control?
The conclusion of this message is Paul’s conclusion to Timothy.
Now 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.
“…and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Paul was charging Timothy with being a Christian soldier, a warrior for the faith and as a warrior for the faith he must:
- Fight the Good Fight
- Keep the Faith
- Finish the Race
So Paul has told Timothy that he has to Fight the Good Fight and Keep the Faith. He has to preach the Word, using it wisely, even looking for opportunities to spread the Gospel message; to continue teaching the truth.
We see in verses 5 and 6 that Paul knows how hard this can be.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.
- There will be times when so much is swirling around you that your head will start to swim! But the Christian warrior must keep his head straight!
- There will be times of hardship and persecution! But Christian warrior must endure.
- Evangelism still has to happen!
- Pastoral duties still have to be performed!
- Timothy has to finish what he has started!
The next two verses (3-4) are two verses of Scripture that ring in my ears daily. To me they are the ‘right here and right now’! What Paul told Timothy is coming, Timothy may have known as already here. This given the fact that he was in Ephesus to combat false teachings. To try and turn the tide.
VV.3-4 outline Paul giving Timothy 3 of the reasons why he must Fight the Good Fight.
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. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.