2 Timothy 4: It's Your Turn Now
The story is told of the umpire who called a strike on Babe Ruth. The Babe turned around and angrily shouted, "Hey, meathead! Me and 40,000 people here know that pitch was a ball!" The umpire replied, "Yeah, and mine is the only opinion that matters."
The gospel is not often popular. As he gears up for ministry, Timothy needs to know that only God's opinion matters. In this passage, the last written words of Paul we have, Paul instructs Timothy to think of eternity.
Warming Up to God
How do you respond (inwardly and outwardly) when you see friends turning away from the faith?
Discovering the Word
- What charge was Timothy to keep (vv. 3-5)?
- Paul is seeing a big part of what he labored so hard to build under God's power dissolve. How can he still feel such satisfaction about his life (vv. 6-8)?
- What do verses 9-13 reveal about Paul's situation?
- Rome had a big Christian community, but they shunned Paul when he came to trial (vv. 16-17, see also 1:8, 12, 16-18). Paul could have chosen to burn with resentment. What clues in the passage show why he was not bitter?
- The names in verses 19-20 denote men, women, Romans, Greeks, nobles and commoners. What comfort would that fact give both Paul and Timothy?
Applying the Word
- What life tasks do you need to finish in order to share Paul's satisfaction?
- Who is taking a public stand for the gospel in your community, and how can you support him or her?
Responding in Prayer
Pray for the spread of the gospel locally and around the world.