DAILY WORD 1/29/21
9. Timothy, please come as soon as you can.
10. Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.
11. Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry.
12. I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
13. When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.
14. Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done.
15. Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said.
16. The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them.
17. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death.
18. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.
19. Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and those living in the household of Onesiphorus.
20. Erastus stayed at Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick at Miletus.
21. Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters.
22. May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you.
2 Timothy 4:9–22 NLT
Today’s Passage brings us to the end of yet another Book and another DAILY WORD session, and given all of the Lessons, Standards, and Lists of Traits that Paul has provided throughout this Letter, this portion seems a little bit light on Spiritual admonition. However, what it lacks in directorial substance, it more than makes up for in emotion.
Paul, as mentioned several times throughout these commentaries, is aware of his impending death. He indicated that in yesterday’s Passage but in this one, we are given a clear look at just what he is facing behind the scenes as it comes to those who have been faithful, and even more impactful, those that have not.
In Verse 9, Paul bids Timothy to come quickly to Rome to see him before he is killed but in Verse 10, we see just how perilous the times are that Paul is embroiled in. His friends and Leaders are forsaking him for sin and worldly lusts. Some have left to do the Ministry but it is clear that not all of his Leaders are remaining Faithful during this time of upheaval.
Paul mentions one of them by name, Demas. He specifically says that he forsook him because of his love of this world over his Love for God, or for Paul himself. As Christian Leaders, we must be ready and brace ourselves for the fact that not all of those we groom as Leaders will be up to the task.
There may come a time when those that we’ve put hours of time and energy into, prayer and fasting, tears and effort, will abandon us and the Faith itself for what they deem “greener pastures” within the world. Their Faith will waiver, their eyes will wander, their footing will slip. They will take all that we have done and dash it at our feet and run like the wind back to their former love; the world.
Paul is facing such a situation exacerbating his already tenuous and stressful circumstances. This is the last thing he needs but that is not the only issue he faces. However, before we get to that, it’s not all bad for Paul, let’s look at who has been faithful to him in his time of need.
Luke has stayed and is apparently ministering to him in his last days. Not everyone will abandon you when the chips are down. God will always Provide a proverbial ram in the bush for those that remain faithful to Him. But abandonment is not the only thing on Paul’s mind in this Passage.
Apparently, Paul is cold. Oddly enough, even in the midst of all this impending death and betrayal by his friends and colleagues, Paul inexplicably asks Timothy to bring him his cloak when he comes to see him. As strange a request as that is, he also shows that he is still hyper-focused on this Ministry. He asks Timothy to also bring him his Teaching Materials in the same sentence.
Paul is still the Leader of the Church and even in his final recorded correspondence, he is doing his best to ensure that the Church is well taken care of before his death. Then, we see another problem of Christian Leadership. Those that will actually work against you and your Ministry.
Some of those that you reach out to as a Leader will actually do their best to destroy your work. They will resist your Teaching and try to drag others away with them. Alexander the coppersmith seems to be one of those people for Paul.
As Christian Leaders, not everybody we try and Guide toward the Light will accept our Labor of Love. Some of them will turn from our Teaching and embrace the darkness. They will try and tear down our Ministry and even slander and attack us. But rest assured, God will Judge them for their actions and will bolster us, even as He did for Paul in his time of distress.
We see in Verse 16 that even his friends and colleagues left him when he was facing his most perilous times before the judges that sentenced him to death. But Paul is uplifted by the Fact that God never left or forsook him, just as He Promised.
He gave Paul Strength so that he, even in his current state, could still Preach His Gospel. Free or in bonds, Paul remained Faithful to his Calling. He is the true image of a Good Christian Leader. He never abandoned his post, even when it would have been easier to do so. He stayed Faithful even unto death. He is a shining example of what Leadership looks like and we would do well to model his Standard of Guidance.
Paul shows us in Verse 18, that his Faith is not wavering, even as he faces his death. He knows that the Faithfulness that God has shown him will not fade in his final days, nor will he abandon his post as his death looms. He is the Standard of what we need to emulate as we heed the Call and Lead God’s people.
If you are taking up the reins of Christian Leadership, the Books of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy are the quintessential sets of Traits and Standards to Study as you prepare yourself. However, as you do so, it is of utmost importance that you understand the grave nature of your Calling.
This is no cakewalk. There are lost souls at stake and God will absolutely Judge you for any of them who are set adrift under your watch. Do not take this Responsibility lightly because it will be the most important and significant thing that you ever do. God needs Leaders but be sure that it is your True Calling before you take the leap, or you may find that without a Firm Foundation underneath you, you are plummeting into the breach.
Have a Fantastic Friday and Stay Safe out there!