PAUL’S DYING WORDS (2 Timothy – 1)
READ: 2 Timothy 1:1-5
The final words of a person are important because they reflect what means the most to the person. In 2 Timothy we have Paul’s final words to the person closest to him on earth, his ‘son’ Timothy. Knowing this would be his last opportunity to give advice to Timothy, he made every word count. Paul was back in prison in Rome, 5 years after he had been released. He knew there would be no release this time. The date was approximately 64 AD. Paul took this final opportunity to encourage Timothy to remain faithful.
In addressing Timothy, Paul identified himself as an “apostle” (2 Timothy 1:1) – someone sent by God to minister for Him. God chose him and he followed. Paul always saw himself as a servant of God by God’s grace, even at the end of his life. He was nothing, Jesus was everything.
He calls Timothy his “dear son,” showing their close relationship. It must have been very hard for Paul to write to Timothy for the last time. Timothy was still in Ephesus. He followed Paul’s commands and stayed, even though it was very hard for him. Receiving this letter must have been both encouraging for Timothy yet very sad knowing his end was near. Tradition says he did make it to Rome to see Paul shortly before Paul was martyred, but it must have been very dangerous for him to be associated with Paul.
Timothy was mentored by Paul, and Paul was encouraged by Timothy. Despite facing death in prison, Paul gives thanks to God for Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3). He assured Timothy he was faithfully praying for him. Do you have younger men you are mentoring and training to serve God? Do you daily pray for them, including ones you trained in the past? Paul did. Thank God for those who are praying for you.
As he approached death, Paul could look back on his service to God with a clear conscience. Even though he had persecuted Christians, he knew he was forgiven and did his best to faithfully serve. What a joy it must be to come to the end of life having a clear conscience. Too many who claim to be church leaders get into sin and ruin their reputation and ministry. Live now so that your conscience will be clear.
Timothy’s faithful life was an encouragement to Paul as he remembered Timothy’s love for him (verse 4) and lifelong faithful service (verse 5). These things were foremost in Paul’s mind when he wrote to Timothy for the last time.
When you come to the end of your life, who will you look to for encouragement? Whose faithful life will bring joy to you? Are you training and building into others now, as Paul did with Timothy? Or are you too busy with other things?
PAUL’S ADVICE: Find encouragement in the faithful lives of those you have helped grow as Christians.
Colossians 1:3-5 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints — 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth,
Ephesians 1:10 15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Thank God for those who have helped you in your Christian growth.
Pray for the ones you have helped grow spiritually.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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