You have come to know from the previous study blogs that it is imperative that you live awake and alert to the evil that is all around. You know that sin is rampant and no one is immune from the havoc it wreaks. There was only one man who remained sinless while walking on earth. His name is Jesus. He came to give every person an opportunity to escape the hold of sin and become heirs of a different world, which is His Kingdom.
Keep this in mind as you read through the final chapter of 2 Timothy. Read chapter 4.
Paul solemnly urges believers to set up Christ’s Kingdom in verse 1. What else do you learn from verse 1? Believers are called to keep heaven in view as they build up His Kingdom while they walk on earth. You and I are called to be His light in this dark world, see Ephesians 5:8, John 8:12, and Acts 26:18 for insight into living out your faith.
What does active faith look like, according to verse 2? You may argue that you are not a preacher like Paul was. No, you may not be, but you are to share the word of God. When do you share truth? For most of us, God has us share in one-on-one settings, like with family and friends.
Why is it imperative that you should be prepared to speak biblical truths wherever you go, see verses 3-4? It is becoming more and more evident that people, even Christians, are living with no discernment. Many are focused on themselves and their rights and wants over following Christ and the Holy Spirit.
It is so easy to shy away from speaking out in faith. There is a quote from the late Billy Graham that exemplifies why you would choose to stay quiet over speaking scriptures, “When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” The Bible cuts through people’s hearts and bites their egos. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joints and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”
The last thing you want to do is offend someone, but Paul gives you the answer to that in verse 5. What do you learn?
You are to “fully carry out the ministry God has given you.”5
Paul knows that his time on earth is coming to a close, and that “his life has already been poured out as an offering to God.”6 What does he say about himself in verse 7? Can you say the same thing about yourself? Are you living in such a way that your life is an offering to God?
When you keep heaven in view, you will be able to respond like Paul does in verse 8. What is awaiting him when he dies? Is the prize just for him? This should encourage you to share the light of God with everyone around you.
Paul gives a peek into the reality of living by faith while living in a sinful world in verses 9-15. While you probably desire a bed of roses to lay on when you follow Jesus, you learn that it isn’t this way. People mess things up, even right intentions can sour due to sin.
In verse 9, you see an urgency for Timothy to come quickly. Paul is needing some encouragement. Loneliness is a factor while living for Christ. What did Demas do in verse 10 and why? This happens to many people. They start out walking in Christ, but they leave the narrow path for the world instead. Look at Hebrews 3:14, Matthew 24:13, and Mark 13:13, for added insight. This is why you need to remain awake and alert and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. He will keep you on the straight and narrow and get you home to heaven.
From verses 10-12, Paul says that Crescens and Titus left, Luke is the only one with him, and he sent Tychicus to Ephesus. Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark for he will be helpful in his ministry. God moves His children around where they are needed to keep the momentum going in building up His Kingdom. It is good to remember that you need to be humble and open to what God has for you and be willing to go where you are called.
A child of God will lay down his rights, wants, and desires at the cross and follow Jesus whole-heartedly.
In verse 13, you see how believers take care of each other. Paul left his coat with Carpus and he wanted Timothy to bring it back to him. Maybe it was going into winter and Carpus needed it more? He asked Timothy to brings his books and papers also. Believers are the hands and feet of Christ towards their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Paul warns of a man name Alexander in verses 14-15. While you don’t know what happened, what does Paul say about him and why? When living out your faith, you will battle with those who are against God and His Son, those who live religiously and want just a little bit of God, and true believers falling short simply because sin wreaks havoc on all of us. You are called to live with love, mercy and grace towards others. Those who are lost don’t realize it. Those living as lukewarm believers have blinders on, and those following Christ have to deal with their flesh and surrender to Christ daily, moment-by-moment. Remind yourself of verse 1, and keep building up the Kingdom.
In verses 16-18, Paul gets raw about walking with Christ. He gives you another reality check. What does he share in verse 16? Loneliness is a bugger, but the spiritual battle that wages on behind the scenes is the reason for it. Even with my best intentions, I fall short of my husband, children, family and friends all the time. I hope and pray that they give me second chances of grace, mercy, and love like Christ does for me. People, even those closest to you, will fail you. Most won’t do it on purpose, but they will.
Verses 17 and 18 is what fuels Paul’s heart. It will fuel your bruised heart and tired feet too. What does Paul share that will encourage you?
“The Lord will deliver me from every evil attack, and will bring me safely into His heavenly Kingdom.”18
What more do you need than God rescuing you from this sinful world and giving you the opportunity to have everlasting life with Him, all because He loves you? It is time to become Kingdom builders. Tear down your earthly shrines of your American life, or wherever you call home, and live for the One who can give you more than you can ever imagine!
Paul ends his letter with greetings and well wishes for more dear friends. “May the Lord be with your spirit, and may His grace be will you.”22 What more do you need?