What people say on their death bed is usually the stuff that really matters. The letters they write or the statements they make are probably intended to be as meaningful as they can make them.
The Apostle Paul wrote such letters. One in particular was to Timothy, his “spiritual son” in the ministry. Before he penned the first words of 2 Timothy, Paul had already set up this letter to be the most profound statement of his life. Paul, who had given all his life, money, and years to Jesus was now looking at a death sentence from inside a jail cell, a prisoner of Rome. Surprisingly, this bleak reality was not a reason for bitterness or despair, but rather Paul was going to die a satisfied man. The way he viewed it, he wasn’t a prisoner of Rome at all, but a prisoner of the Lord Jesus. Instead of reacting negatively toward the outcome of the Gospel in Paul’s life, he is thankful, even though it has lead him to prison, reproach, and his death. It is clear from Paul’s final letters he was satisfied with his achievements, and looking forward to being rewarded by Christ.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
I do not know anyone who loves The Lord that doesn’t want to hear “well done” at the conclusion of their service. But does that mean because one desires to hear it will automatically obtain the honor? Not every ministry that is called a ministry no matter how seemingly “good” or “necessary” it is will actually be approved of the Lord.
I believe that Paul wrote to Timothy knowing his last words would have a profound impact, showing him what kind of service will be rewarded. Let me encourage you with the next following posts what Paul shared with his beloved son in the ministry; how you and I can be assured the race we are running stays in the boundaries of the Gospel.