Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Time is precious – Day 13

Paul’s final letter

Bible text(s)

9He saved us and called us to be his own people, not because of what we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace. He gave us this grace by means of Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

2 Timothy 1:9GNBOpen in Bible reader

If you knew you were about to die, what would your final message to a loved one be? Paul was in that position when he was a prisoner in Rome. He wrote to Timothy whom he regarded as a “dear son” (2 Timothy 1:2).

Paul had known Timothy’s mother and grandmother and when Timothy grew up, he became a companion of Paul and a fellow worker.

Their natures were very different. Paul has been described as a “lion of God” (Great Lion of God by Taylor Caldwell). He was a fearless fighter prepared to take on friend and foe in his zeal for, and commitment to the Christian cause.

Timothy was a much younger man. He did not have the aggressive initiative of the apostle, being reserved and timid by nature.

Paul was protective towards him. “When Timothy comes”, Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. No one then should treat him with contempt” (1 Corinthians 16:10-11).

Paul’s letter is packed with assurances and sound advice for Timothy. Its main theme, of endurance to the Christian faith, is applicable to all Christians.

We must be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ in all circumstances. For God has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. Grace is the free and unearned favour of God. That grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

Paul’s final charge to Timothy was to remain active in his worship and witness. This is advice we should follow and pass on to those whom we love.

Paul concludes the last letter he would ever write with two blessings. One to Timothy – “The Lord be with your spirit” and one that includes us too – “Grace be with you all”.

To which, we can only reply – Amen. Amen. Amen.

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