Saturday, 2 October 2021
Title: The Bumps Are What We Climb On
By: Wong Yoke Ming
2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
As the Apostle Paul neared the end of his days on earth, he raised up two spiritual sons – Timothy (in Ephesus) and Titus (in Crete). In his last letter to Timothy, he wrote the above.
Paul was now in a Roman prison, probably awaiting execution, however he wrote not with fear and trepidation but with assurance, hence giving encouragement to Timothy. Confidently, Paul looked in three directions in bearing witness.
First, he looked around him and saw what he had built in his ministry – the churches that he had planted in Asia, the spiritual sons that he had raised up to continue his legacy, and the groundwork that he was leaving behind for Timothy – his ‘good fight’.
He saw not his own impending execution, for which he was ready, instead his own sacrifice for the glory of the Lord. He wrote that the time of his departure was at hand – he did not use the word “death.” He wrote as a soldier striking his tent from a battlefield campaign and departing to permanent and glorious new quarters. He reminded Timothy (and us) that our ‘tent’ (our mortal bodies while on this earth) was merely a temporary shelter. Our ‘home’ will be our home in eternity.
Secondly, he looked back at his journey in ministry. Had he had an easy journey? Of course not! He was imprisoned; he was beaten; he was shipwrecked and bitten by poisonous snakes. He faced insults, resistance from his own people – he did not have a straight path. The race that Paul ran was not easy – it was full of rocks and stones and bumps along the way. But someone once wrote, “The bumps are what we climb on.” An uneven path filled with ‘bumps,’ but the ‘bumps’ had been “steps upwards.” It had not been a smooth journey – he had fought the good fight against worldly ways, satanic provocations and now, he faced Rome, his final adversary. The Lord had always seen him through; and he had written to the church in Philippi, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13) – he had finished the race.
He had warned Timothy to be vigilant, for ‘the time is coming,’ when many shall depart from the faith, drawn away by myths and fables and other falsehoods. Paul looked around, he looked back and he also looked ahead to the crown of righteousness – he kept his faith. “Henceforth there is laid up 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 had loved his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8)
The peace in our hearts, once we know that our eternal future has been secured is incomparable. So, Paul could write to Timothy with such confidence and such assurance. Looking back, he had no regret; looking round, he had no fear; and looking ahead, he had no doubt because he trusted in Jesus Christ.
Now we carry that mantle as people with Christ’s Name – as Christ ians. Do we have the “three looks” that Paul had?
Lord Jesus, like Paul, we run a race. We commit our own race into Your Hands as Paul did with his, and we pray that we too will run our race without regret, without fear and without doubt. Praying in Your Name. Amen.
星期六，2021 年 10 月 2 日
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹
他已經做好了準備，他看到的不是他自己即將被處決，反而是為榮耀主而犧牲。他寫道，”我離世的時侯到了”( 提摩太後書 4:6)——他沒有使用“死亡”這個詞。他寫道，如同一名士兵，他從戰場戰役中遭到襲擊而被打出他的帳篷，前往永久而輝煌的新住所。他提醒提摩太（和我們）我們的“帳篷”（我們在地球上的凡人身體）只是一個臨時的住所。我們的“家”將是我們永恆的歸宿。