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November 27, 2017, 11:24 AM

Fight, Finish, Keep


2 Timothy 4:6-8, are believed to be some of the very last words written by Paul recorded in this second letter to Timothy.  In these verses, he summarizes his life with three illustrations.  Let us look beyond the surface of these words to better understand what Paul meant by them.  The Greek word he used that is translated “fight” is where we get our English word “agony.” Paul describes this life as an agonizing battle.  Every true follower of Jesus understands that this life can, and often is a battle.  Paul description of the manner in which he anguished for the sake of the Gospel is translated “good” from the original Greek.  Another use of this same Greek word was “inspirational.”  Paul anguished in the fight in an inspirational manner that each believer is to be encouraged by.  Regardless of circumstance, Paul fought the good fight.  His words tell us that he finished the race.  The word used here for “finish” is the same word used by Christ when He called out from the cross, “It is finished!”  Christ completely fulfilled the plan and will of the Father when He completed the course set in place for the redemption of man.  Though there were many twists and turns along the course which Paul ran he continued obediently trusting in the will of the Father.  Similar to Christ’s life and death, the magnitude of Paul’s life and understanding of his suffering would not be fully known until after he was gone from this world.  We may not always know why we are on the course God has placed us on, but we can always trust in His will knowing obedience leads to a successful finish in the race.  The word translated “kept” means to guard something of great value.  Paul knew the tremendous value of faith in Jesus Christ.  He knew the crown of Righteousness he would receive on that Day.  So much so that he guarded it as a priceless treasure it did not allow anything of this world to take it from him.  Paul considered the things of this life worthless in comparison to a saving knowledge of  Jesus.  His faith was evidenced by his actions and was the key to his being able to fight an inspiring fight, while obediently running the race God had set before him.  Is this true for you and me? What will be said about me after I am gone?                                       (In Memory of Drew Davis)

Robert


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