The iconic Nike slogan: “Just Do It,” has a crazy back story. The advertising firm that came up with the slogan was inspired by the last words of an infamous murderer, Gary Gilmore. As he faced the firing squad, he defiantly said, “Let’s do this!” Nike had their slogan, “Just Do It.” In 2 Timothy chapter 4, we get to witness the last recorded words of Paul to his beloved son Timothy:
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:5-8
Paul had become a spiritual father to his pupil Timothy. Words in the mouth of a father are powerful in the heart of a son. These words, like small bombs, exploded in the heart of Timothy. May they do the same for us today. Here are Paul’s “F-Bombs” (sorry, I couldn’t resist)
1] FULFILL: “Fulfill your ministry” God has a ministry for you to fulfill. Please don’t believe the lie that ministry is for “the pros,” pastors, and evangelists. There are no spectators in the Kingdom of God. There is ministry all around you to walk in. If you don’t believe me, believe the Bible:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
2] FIGHT: “Fight the good fight.” You’ve been created by God to fight:
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
The word “keep it” literally means to protect it, to guard it. You’ve been created by God to fight against all that is dark and deceitful. The first Adam failed to fight. When the serpent lied to his wife, Eve, Adam should have stood between that snake and the Tree of Knowledge and said to that serpent, “Over my dead body!” But instead, Adam was passive, and the rest is history. Jesus, however, is known as the Last Adam. He was a fighter. He stood between the Tree (Cross) and the serpent and declared, “Over my dead body!” He fought to the death, so His bride might live. Fight the good fight.
3] FINISH: “Finish your race.” Paul was a finisher. He was able to look back in the rearview mirror of his life at all he had overcome as he crossed the finish line of life. So many characters in the Bible started strong but ended badly: King Saul started strong, but by the end of his life, he was consulting witches and overcome by the fear of man. Judas started strong. The Bible says he was in charge of the moneybag. I’m guessing you don’t entrust the moneybag to a man with no character. Somewhere along the way, the devil entered into his heart. He started strong but ended badly. How will you finish your race? The momentary pain of enduring pales in comparison to the unending pain of regret. Be a finisher.
4] FAITH: “Keep the faith.” Hebrews 11 tells us that faith “pleases God”. Isn’t that an incredible thought? As we trust God, it “pleases” Him. You can put a smile on the face of God by faith! Faith, however, is going to cost you something. Fear is free, but Faith takes work! Fear will always be available and accessible. Faith, on the other hand, is a fight, a wrestle with doubt. It will take some work.
Spiritual disciplines + spiritual family will produce faith in your heart.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Timothy responded to the words of Paul and the call of God…..will you?