Wrap it Up – 2 Timothy 4:6-8
(As we closed the semester I was invited to deliver a devotional meditation for the student chapel. Our meditation was entitled, “Wrap it up.”)
2 Timothy 4:6-8
(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. (8) 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.
No one seems to like a long-winded speaker. The visiting missionary reported that he and his wife had arrived at an effective method of keeping his sermons to the point. If he began to wander, she would take her glasses off and begin to whirl them in a circle. She was reminding him to wrap it up. Turn to your neighbor and say, “Wrap it up.”
Paul knew it was time for him to wrap up his ministry. He had to prepare for the next stage of service. Looking back he reflected on three fundamental elements of his service: the fight, the race, and the faith. Consider each.
Anybody can get in a fight, but not everybody picks the good fight. You may be in this fight or in that scrap. Have you taken the time to pick your fight? Paul knew enough to leave some fights alone. The good fight of salvation was worth the effort.
Anybody can run the rat race of life, but not everybody finishes in style. Quitters fall to the left of me. Quitters fall to the right of me. If I am to finish the race of life in style I must not be a quitter. This applies in life and the life of the church. How often do you find flash-in-the-pan disciples fall by the wayside? You plan today to finish the race.
Anybody can have faith, but not everybody keeps the faith. Life is composed of faith in this and that. You can have faith in pets, government officials, or weather forecasters. The faith in Jesus found in the New Testament is the faith worth keeping.
Lest I be accused of being long-winded I must conclude this meditation. Turn to your neighbor and say, “Wrap it up.”