Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our reading from 2 Timothy 4 is a difficult passage. Here Paul is telling Timothy that his life and ministry have been very hard. He has been abandoned. He is expecting to die any time. He found that only the Lord stood by him to strengthen him. What hope does he have?
Paul has a great and living hope. He was rescued before. He managed to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. He is a partaker of the promise of God. He has an eternal home in God’s kingdom. What does Paul have to fear? Nothing at all.
This is the very same hope which every Christian has. We may not be able to articulate it clearly. We may have moments when we question our endurance. When Paul is being “rescued from the lion’s mouth” he is certainly thinking about the real possibility of being devoured, or at least crushed to death. We all have those times, when the cares of the world, the hardships inherent in our fallen state, our weakness, our inability, our fears seem to take over. We can’t evade those troubles. Neither could Paul.
What we can do, however, is to trust that Jesus himself has taken our sin, that he has triumphed over death and the grave, and that he, as the risen Lord of all, has promised never to leave us behind. We have an eternal home in God’s kingdom. There is nothing else to fear. Yes, when the lion is licking his chops and getting read to bite our heads off, we may tremble in fear. But Jesus has given his promise. He’s the one who was able to rise from the dead. I’m going to trust that his promise is for me and that it’s true.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.