«I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching» (2 Timothy 4:1, 2).
SECOND TIMOTHY is Paul’s last letter and becomes his will for Timothy and the entire Christian church. There, the apostle emphasized the need to preach the Word of God to correct, admonish and encourage. He asked Timothy to always preach with urgency and be an evangelist (v. 5).
In addition, he gave a double warning about apostasy: one day some will turn against sound doctrine and in favor of satanic doctrine (v. 3, 4). Thus, he gave his own testimony of having fought the good fight, completed the race, and kept the faith with the certainty of the promised crown of righteousness (v. 6-8). He was also sad about how Demas and other friends had abandoned him, but he praised God who had delivered him from the lion’s mouth and would lead him to the kingdom of heaven (v. 9—18).
Derek Redmond was an athlete who had prepared all his life to compete in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. He had had five surgeries, but had not given up. He was favored to win the gold medal in his specialty. The race was going very well, but. . . just 250 meters before he reached the finish line, he felt severe pain in his muscle. He struggled. He made one last effort, but he could not do it.
He suddenly fell to the ground in unbearable pain. When the medical team approached, he decided to stand up. He wanted to get to the finish line, even if it was by walking. Tears of pain and helplessness flooded his face.
The race had ended, and his dreams were dashed, but he decided to continue. At that moment, a man made his way through the crowd. It was his own father, Jimmy Redmond. He approached his son and said, «Take it easy. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone.» Derek replied, «Dad, I have to finish the race.» The father hugged his son and whispered in his ear, «We’re going to finish the race together.»
In the race of the Christian life, the first one to reach the finish line is not the only one who wins. All who persevere faithfully to the end win. Perhaps you feel wounded and hurt. Perhaps you have no more energy left to continue. Look at Paul. He ran for God even in chains and he was sure of his crown.
Your current situation is not important.
Your heavenly Father is by your side and tells you,