By Michael Risley
Time and again, Scripture likens the Christian life to a race—and you and I are called to run with perseverance right to the finishing line!
As the apostle Paul neared the end of his life, he had a very clear sense of what that meant.
In his last letter before his death, Paul wrote…
Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. (2 Timothy 2:1–2)
In this verse, Paul sets out his two priorities as he sought to finish his race well.
Priority number one: Grace
Paul tells Timothy to “be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). The same goes for you! Whatever your age or stage, you’re to find your strength in God’s undeserved favor. His grace is not something you grow out of or move on from.
Keep running today in the same way you started out your Christian life: confess your sin, know the joy of God’s forgiveness, and let His grace strengthen you to the end.
Priority number two: Growth
Paul knows that his end is near, and his utmost concern is for the advance of the Kingdom.
So Paul passes on the gospel baton to Timothy and exhorts him to teach the truth “to other trustworthy people” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Again, the same goes for you! Ask God to give you two or three younger Christians whom you can encourage and build up in the faith so that God’s Kingdom may continue to grow.
Living with these two priorities of grace and growth will keep you running your race with perseverance, bringing encouragement to others and glory to God!