1 我在神面前，並且在那將要審判活人死人的基督耶穌面前，憑著他的顯現和國度叮囑你： 2 務要傳道；無論時機是否適合，都要常作準備；要以多方的忍耐和教訓責備人、警戒人、勸勉人。 3 因為時候快要到了，人必容不下純正的道理，反而耳朵發癢，隨著自己的私慾，增添許多教師， 4 而且轉離不聽真理，反倒趨向無稽之談。 5 你卻要凡事謹慎，忍受磨難、作傳福音者的工作，完成你的職務。 6 我已經被澆奠；我離世的時候也到了。 7 那美好的仗我已經打過了，當跑的路我已經跑盡了，所持的信仰我已經守住了。 8 從此以後，有公義的冠冕為我存留，就是按公義審判的主在那日要賞給我的；不但賞給我，也賞給所有愛慕他顯現的人。
1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
- Paul has known plenty of discouragement, and abundant persecution. But he looked back over his life with a sense of satisfaction. Through it all, Paul kept on serving. He fought a good fight. He ran a good race. He kept the faith. And now he looked forward to his reward.
- Paul wants us to know that God has the same reward for each of us. We have lived our life here aware that this earth is temporary, and all its pleasures are passing. We have yearned not for the things of earth, but for Jesus to return. And this longing has kept us, as it kept Paul, faithfully committed to whatever ministry God has given us.
- Do I share Paul’s hope and perspective for the future? Sing or read this chorus as my thanksgiving and praise to God:
It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Life's trials will seem so small when we see Christ;
One glimpse of His dear face all sorrow will erase,
So bravely run the race till we see Christ.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2012 “Spiritual Journal” book.