November 6

2 Timothy 4:6-8 6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store 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 have longed for his appearing.

This letter was the last that Paul wrote. He knew his time had come. He compared his final days to being poured out like a drink offering. Under the Old Covenant, one of the offerings to God was wine poured out upon the altar. (Genesis 35:14; Exodus 29:40) It was usually offered with the body of an animal. Paul was ready to lay his life one final time upon the altar of God. He was beheaded shortly after writing this letter in Rome.

He could declare three things about his ministry. He fought a good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith. Life is going to be a fight no matter which course you choose. Paul had chosen the good fight. He chose to fight for the kingdom of God. He chose to fight for what is worthwhile.

He finished the race. He didn't go part way and give up because of difficulty, and Paul faced some of the greatest difficulties man can face. He endured. We can't say that until we are at the end as Paul was. By faith we can say that we will finish the race.

He kept the faith. What is the difference between finishing the race and keeping the faith? Some may have their lives cut short because they are losing their faith. Though they finish the race, their faith was faltering. Paul kept the faith alive in his heart even when he did not understand his circumstances. He walked to the end by faith rather than by sight. He knew that a crown of righteousness awaited him and all who long for Jesus' appearing. He knew the reward was worth enduring the battle.

Remember: Fight the good fight and cling to your faith. The reward is well worth it. Endure to the end. Finish the course He has laid out for you.