The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6-7
Paul the apostle focused on Christ to the end. His final words are found in 2 Timothy 4, apparently written shortly before Nero’s soldiers beheaded him. Three things occupied Paul’s mind.
First, Paul wanted to continue God’s work till the last moment. He told Timothy, “Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry” (verse 11). Second, Paul wanted to study God’s Word as long as possible, telling Timothy to bring “the books, especially the parchments” (verse 13). Third, he wanted God’s will to perfectly unfold in his life with every passing minute and forever. He wrote, “The Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me.… And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (verses 17-18).
We stay centered in Christ when we focus on His Word, His will, and His work. When we keep the core of our souls strengthened, we can withstand Nero’s threats. Whatever comes, we can praise the Lord saying, “To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” (verse 18)
Men who are strong are always men who are fixed somewhere, who have a conviction from which they cannot be separated…. The fixed heart is the secret of courage. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan