For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6‑7, NIV*
These things Paul tells us at the end of his life—they’re what mattered most to him. These are his marks of success, and the things he was afraid he’d fail in. His daily, yearly, lifetime goals. The goals he’s trying to pass on to Timothy.
I don’t think he’s being smug here. He’s satisfied, and perhaps relieved. Failure would have devastated him, but failure is a constant danger. Being human, he may have slipped a bit, but he stayed the course. And he’d say it was because “I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ” (Philippians 4:13, NIV*)
He did it by relying on Jesus’ strength, and by keeping his focus. What’s my focus on any given day? To serve God, or just to deal with the tasks at hand? His opportunities, or my duties?
Father God, remind me whose I am and help me focus on Kingdom priorities. Let my life count for You.
Our song this week is “Lord, Reign in Me,” by Brenton Brown.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thanks for the post and encouragement. Why is finishing well so hard? Maybe, it is where faith really comes in because we start to second guess.
That’s a good point, Doug. I think prayerful self-evaluation to be sure we’re on track is good, but second-guessing usually involves taking our eyes off God. I keep thinking of Proverbs 3:5,6 where it says to trust in God with all our hearts and not lean on our own understandings.