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Each week I share a thought from the previous week’s reading here.
If you’ve been with someone in their final moments on a hospital bed, or you’ve been there as the baton of leadership is passed, you know that final words are important.
2 Timothy 4 contains the Apostle Paul’s final words to his young protégé, Timothy. In just two verses, Paul lists nine commands all focused on Timothy’s responsibility to God’s Word and God’s calling. Of the nine commands, the final one has always grabbed my attention:
“Fulfill your ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:5 (ESV)
That command is only three words, but it’s jammed full of meaning.
When you fulfill something, you bring it to completion. You do everything necessary to do all that is required. Timothy had already done a lot in ministry: preach, help plant churches, lead, but there was more work to be done. No matter what you’ve done in your life or ministry and no matter how successful you’ve been, there’s always more work to be done. Fulfill what you were called to do. Bring it to completion.
It’s not just any ministry Timothy was called to and it’s not just generic ministry you and I are called to either. Paul’s charge to Timothy is God’s charge to each of us: “Fulfill YOUR ministry.” In other words, bring to completion the things that God has specifically called you to do. You will not be held accountable for my ministry and I will not be held accountable for yours. You do you. You’re the only you and God has called you to a specific set of good works (see Ephesians 2:10).
So where’s your focus? What have you started that you need to complete? Where have you gotten discouraged or distracted that you need to restart or refocus? Fulfill your ministry. Whatever price you have to pay will be worth it in the end. Obedience is always worth the cost.
(If you haven’t heard, here’s an update on the ministry God has called Jenn and I to fulfill.)