As the apostle Paul nears the end of his life, much of which had been
poured out for the Lord, his heart is moved towards Timothy and what his son in the faith
will face in the coming days. Writing from his dungeon, the veteran missionary pours out
his heart and concerns for the younger, and perhaps discouraged Timothy. Surely, the
younger saints of our day would benefit from listening in as Paul, who is about to depart
this world, gives Timothy his final instructions.
Amid many exhortations regarding utilization of his spiritual gift, and
suffering for the Gospel’s sake, a few seem to take center stage. Exhortations that
we would do well to memorize and follow throughout our sojourn.
Paul exhorts Timothy in chapter one, "Don’t be ashamed,"
but "be a " partaker of the afflictions of the gospel." (1:8) Don’t
drawback because things are getting difficult. Be a participator! Good advice when it
comes to our witnessing for Christ—Don’t be ashamed!
In chapter two, in the well-known verse 15, he exhorts Timothy to be
"approved of God." This is with his work in view. So too with us today, it
should be the Lord’s approval we seek as we serve Him. Here is some excellent advice
regarding our work for the Lord—Be approved of God!
In chapter three Paul warns Timothy of the stressful days that are
ahead, and exhorts him to "continue thou in the things which thou hast
learned." (3:14) A fit word for us as we walk among the voices of psychology
and multiple step programs—stay with the Word of God as your guide!
In chapter four, Paul’s charge is for Timothy "to preach the Word!" He
was not to change the message when people turned away their ears from the truth. Good
advice to us with respect to the word we preach—Always the Word!