Vs 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Vs 8 … Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.
Vs 11 Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry.
Vs 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
Vs 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed …
Paul is writing to Timothy about his final circumstances and making some final requests.
Paul is content in his faithfulness … He has “fought the good fight”.
Paul laments those who have deserted him, in particular, Demas and “all” at his defense.
Paul pleads for those supportive of him, in particular, Mark.
Finally, Paul tells us the source of his strength … “the Lord stood by me”.
Words of warning … and words of hope!
Both are provided here among Paul’s final words.
Do I want to start well … or finish well?
Paul is pleased to “finish the race” … the objective is achieved, and the goal is secured.
It is better to finish well.
Words of warning …
Paul had earlier described Demas as a “fellow worker”, but that did not provide security for Demas.
Demas abandoned the work.
Words of hope …
Paul had earlier vehemently opposed John Mark joining him because of his early misdeeds.
That, however, was not the end.
Later, John Mark was now “useful for ministry”.
I must follow the example of John Mark … leave past mistakes and regrets behind me.
There is a race ahead of me … finish well!
I must also follow the example of Paul.
Even in the moments when I feel alone in the race, I can know I am not actually alone.
The Lord is with me and provides strength!
And may I share the same grace of Paul for those I feel may not be running with me … “May it not be charged against them!”
Thank you, God for your word
Help me finish the race
Help me know you are with me
Help me know your strength
Help me have grace for others
In Jesus name