by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course; I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
2 Timothy 4:1-8:
1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
The life of a Christian is a fight, a fight against all the forces of evil that are arrayed against him. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
To fight this spiritual fight we have need of spiritual weapons, in fact, of the whole armor of God, which consists of the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, protection for the feet by the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And further there is needed continued prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and persevering watchfulness. With these weapons rightly used we shall be more than conquerors through him that loved us and gave himself for us.
Paul has come to the end of his course. He had fought a good fight. He also wants Timothy to fight this good fight. In his first epistle he admonishes him, "Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on eternal life." But he also wants him to watch in all things, to endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist and make full proof of his ministry. This in view of the fact that he (Paul) must soon die a martyr's death. He says, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand." He wants the Gospel to be preached after his death. Even as Peter, when the Lord Jesus Christ had shown him that he must soon die, admonished his readers, to keep in remembrance the things he had taught them, even after his decease. For only those who know the truth and keep the faith, and love the appearing of Jesus Christ will receive a crown of righteousness.
Our Father in heaven, amidst the turmoil and warfare of life grant us Thy peace. In all our work and labor in Thy kingdom may we rest in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In our trials and temptations may we cling to Thy word, believe Thy precious promises, and keep the faith to the end. In our sorrows and afflictions grant us the joy of Thy salvation. For Jesus' sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Eph. 6:12-18; Rom. 8:37; 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:5, 6; 2 Pet. 1:12-15.
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