All Scripture is God-breathed – 2 Timothy 3:10 – 4:8
Now 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.
As I read this passage, it occurred to me that Timothy was the very first recipient of a mail-order ordination certificate! This charge, issued to Timothy by letter, is the same charge that Dr. Porter spoke as he laid hands on me and ordained me. These verses have probably been spoken at thousands of ordination services through the centuries, but Timothy receives them in the form of a letter!
Paul is really passing the baton to Timothy. Paul has fought the fight, he’s finished the race, and now it’s time to hand the baton to the next runner. Timothy is charged to study scripture, to speak the truth, to “keep his head,” and to endure hardship.
But in the midst of this baton-passing, Paul reminds us of the finish line–the crown of righteousness which is for all who have longed for Christ’s return.
Paul’s talking about you and I! Right there in Holy Scripture, Paul talks about us! Not by name, of course, but you’re included in that. If you’ve ever said “E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come,” then you’re included! If you’ve ever sung “when Christ shall come with shout of acclamation” and had tingles run up and down your spine, then you’re included! If you’ve ever prayed through a fog of depression, a dark night of the soul, or a tunnel that seemed to have no end; then you’re included!
We can look forward to the time when the hardship will come to an end… when clarity will be brought to every uncertainty… and when Christ shall return and set things right. “E’en so, Lord Jesus, quickly come!”
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
– Reginald Heber