Paul doesn’t seem to tire of certain subjects. We probably shouldn’t tire of them either. How Christians should behave is one of them. The plain facts of the gospel are another. He covers both of these again in this last chapter to Titus who is serving on the island of Crete.
“Organized religion ‘will be driven toward extinction’ in 9 countries, experts predict.” So read the headline of CNN’s Belief Blog earlier this year. People today are feeling less and less comfortable with “Organized Religion.” The Apostle Paul, if he were here, would not be one of them. In fact, for him, the churches on the island of Crete were not yet organized enough. The reason he left his assistant Titus there was to set things in order.
The Christian life can be compared to a race, but it’s a special kind of race.
– It’s like a relay because we don’t run alone.
– It’s like a marathon, because it requires endurance to make it to the end.
– It’s like an obstacle course, because there are a variety of difficulties along the way.
Paul is at the end of his relay-marathon-obstacle course and he hands the baton off to Timothy in the chapter we are reading today.
What should we do to be prepared for survival in perilous times? What if we ask a survivalist? Here are “10 Things To Do Now!” from thesurvivalistblog.net. We’ll then look at “4 Things To Do Now!” from the Apostle Paul to Timothy.
When our work is exposed and seen to be inferior, it is truly an awful experience. No one enjoys that feeling. Timothy had a responsibility before God to carry out a ministry that would stand the test of time and various trials. Paul encourages him to take this responsibility seriously. If his work stands the test, he would have no reason to be ashamed.
Someday we will wake up and find ourselves in the heavenly glory of our Lord’s presence. All our tears will be wiped away, all our problems will be solved and all our hurts will be healed. But we’re not there yet. (Sorry.) The world we live in is still fallen and full of difficulties. If we expect our lives to have an enduring impact, then we must be people who are able to endure.
“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” – William James, American Philosopher
Timothy had seen a lot of the Christian life. There were plenty of temptations to take the easy way out. But a life worth living is never a life of ease. If Timothy was to finish well, he would need to give 100%. This life is the only chance we have to make a difference for Jesus. How are we going to spend it?