A Bible study through 2 Timothy
We have come to the end of another great study. 2 Timothy has been a treasure trove of truth, encouragement, and great exhortation. Through Paul’s heart for Timothy, we have seen more of God’s heart for us. His desire is for us to be all that He created us to be, to flourish and thrive, and to finish our races well. So before we leave this study for good, let’s look back on all that we’ve learned over the past ten weeks and pull out some lasting truths we can carry with us.
As we’ve mentioned before, the core theme of 2 Timothy is to be faithful. Be faithful to run your race, complete your assignment, finish your mission, and do it all well. The idea is not to merely make it across the finish line or squeeze in your completed task before the deadline, but rather, to finish strong and with excellence, to go above and beyond the minimum requirements.
Remember when we examined what it meant to “fulfill your ministry” in chapter four and how Paul states that his life was being poured out as a drink offering? We are called to leave it all on the field, give following Jesus everything we have, and hold nothing back but completely pour ourselves out in pursuit of Him and build His kingdom on earth.
But in a practical sense, how do we accomplish this? How can we stay on mission and not get weary in the running? What can help us press on so that we don’t give up before the finish line?
In 2 Timothy, Paul gives us two general points for how we can stay on mission and finish our race well.
1. Guard and steward well what you’ve been given. In chapter one, Paul encourages us to fan into flame the gift God has given us and to guard the good deposit that God has entrusted to us. He also exhorts us to continue in the truth we have learned to be ready to share that truth with others. As we do these things, we will keep our passion for the Lord alive and remember the why behind our faith and the reason for running this race.
2. Live according to a higher standard. We can keep running our race well by keeping our eyes fixed on our calling and living in congruence with that calling. Throughout this letter, Paul outlines standards of living and calls Timothy to walk worthy of his calling. 2 Timothy 2 talks about how as soldiers of Jesus we are not to get entangled with the affairs of this world, but remember whose mission we’re on. This chapter also contains the exhortation to flee the passions of the flesh and pursue God. Paul also commands us to be approved workmen who rightly divide or handle the Word of truth, to be prepared to preach and defend the truth at all times, and to understand that suffering for the truth is not to be avoided but rather expected.
These are the two general, overarching themes from 2 Timothy as Paul encouraged his son in the faith—and by extension us—to run well the race of faith to the end. Therefore, as we close out this series, let us remember these two main points so that we can faithfully run our race, pressing on to the finish line and completing our mission with excellence with our eyes fixed on Jesus. Press on!
What are some take-aways you’ve gleaned from this study? How has God used 2 Timothy to speak to your heart and encourage you in the faith?