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Lessons From a Life Well Lived

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God's servants don't need skill; they need faith so they can endure.

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Paul’s second letter to Timothy was written from prison. This time the apostle felt certain that the emperor would have him executed. But God’s faithful servant was ready to take the next step of faith.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Paul met death with calm acceptance. He lived every day—from his conversion on the road to Damascus to his final moments—in service to God, which meant consenting to whatever hardship he was asked to bear in Jesus’ name. “I have fought the good fight,” he wrote to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:7). From Paul’s many letters, we know that he battled the same enemies we face—the flesh (Rom. 7:14-15), the world (1 Corinthians 4:11-13), and Satan (Eph. 6:12). These passages are a reminder that Paul wasn’t more holy than us; he had to persevere by faith. And the same is true for us today. 

Even with his profound wisdom and skill as an apostle and missionary, Paul wasn’t so different from ordinary you and me. He was not perfect and he had spiritual defeats. But Paul didn’t stay down. He got back into the fight. For this and for the life he lived, he anticipated rich rewards in eternity. And he pointed out that heaven’s treasures were “not only to me but also to all who have longed for [Jesus’] appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8 NIV).

Paul struggled and agonized, as believers today often do. But he kept the faith, and you can as well. Fight the good fight, friend. Battle your enemies by choosing to trust, obey, and rely upon the Lord. You will bring honor to Him and store up treasures in heaven for yourself.

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