6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future 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).
Paul knew he was going to die soon (some say it would be only a few weeks), and thus he wanted to write a few final words. These are no empty words simply trying to gain sympathy, rather, they are words filled with confidence and hope.
He is confident in his service to Christ. He who only moments before implored Timothy to “endure hardship” and “fulfill your ministry”—had himself “fought the good fight … finished the course … [and] kept the faith.” He is also confident in his salvation in Christ, knowing a “crown of righteousness” will be “awarded” to him personally by his “Lord, the righteous judge.”
But Paul’s confidence is not focused merely on his own circumstances. He is also confident that his future experience with Christ will be shared by “all who have loved His [Christ’s] appearing.” He knew the gospel is both personal as well as corporate.
Lord, thank You for the example of the Apostle Paul. Help us This Day and every day to live lives in such a way that at the end of them our final words might resemble at least in some degree those of Paul. Amen.