January 15, 2020

Today you should read: 2 Timothy 1:13-18

“Alone and without fear, Paul stared directly into the eyes of the execution squad. Several held rods with which they would beat him; one held the sharp axe with which he would sever the apostle’s head from his shoulders. Few words were spoken. They marched him through the heavy gate and beyond the stone wall that surrounded Rome, past the pyramid of Cestius, which still stands today, and on to the Ostian Way toward the sea. Crowds journeying to Rome knew by the rods and the axe that an execution would soon transpire. They had seen such sights before. They passed it off with a shrug. It happened yesterday; it would happen tomorrow.

The manacled prisoner, walking stiffly, ragged and filthy from the dungeon, was not ashamed or degraded. The squad of grim-faced soldiers never noticed as they frowned and stared ahead, but there was a faint smile on their prisoner’s face—he was en route to a triumph—the crowning day of his reward. For him to live was Christ, to die, gain. No axe across the back of his neck would rob him of his triumphant destiny. It would, in fact, initiate it!”

This excerpt is from Charles Swindoll’s Great Lives from God’s Word series, Paul—A Man of Grace and Grit. When I read this book in seminary, his final section on 2nd Timothy and his vivid telling of Paul’s end made a lasting impact. 

Paul knew the letter we call “2nd Timothy” was his last in a long line of written correspondence. We must remember that. Read this book the way it was written—with emotion. This was probably the last thing Paul ever told his beloved disciple. He asked Timothy to come to him in chapter 4, but it seems likely that all Timothy found was a grave. 

Of verses 13 and 14, Swindoll wrote, “[Timothy] was neither to be ashamed of the gospel nor careless with the Truth. The stakes were too high for anything less than a sober guarding of those principles Paul had faithfully deposited into his spiritual account. Paul’s words were not a mere collection of pithy statements; they were entrusted treasure; to be guarded and retained at all cost.” It was now upon Timothy to take up the banner of grace and grit that characterized Paul’s life.

Verses 15–18 strike me as the nostalgia of a dying man. He remembered with pain those who forsook him. Likewise, he remembered with tearful fondness those who showed him mercy and encouragement. 

None of us know our end. All we know is the deposit we’re making now. What and to whom are you making a deposit? Can you say with integrity, “Follow me as I follow Christ?” Consider today the example you set for those in your life—what needs to change, how can you be more intentional? 

The dash between the dates on a tombstone is a sad symbol for an entire life. Make sure you’re investing your dash well—that what you’ve been entrusted with gets passed on. 

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate

One of our goals as a church this year is that our people would be praying everyday. To help you be accountable, use the comment section to post prayer requests and experiences of how God has answered prayer and/or changed you through prayer! If you would like to be enrolled to get weekly prayer reminders, text @cpclex to 81010.


Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

7 thoughts on “January 15, 2020”

  1. Thanks for the encouraging word today Tyler. I’ve lived in the same house for 26 years and had two neighbors close by the entire time. One is an atheist who I’ve shared the gospel with several times and it hasn’t taken root. He’s a good man and a great neighbor but my heart grieves for him. My other neighbor is very hard to reach and emotionally doesn’t open up very often. CPC family, will you pray for these two men & opportunities to share Christ with them? They are great guys and I want to see them know Christ as I know Him. Thank you for your prayers!

    1. I am in a very similar situation. It’s so hard, at least for me, to witness to those you’ve known for a long time. My heart breaks for my neighbors too. We will believe together that God with provide opportunity and allow the Holy Spirit to work through us in ways we can’t imagine.

  2. After reading today’s text and comments about it I am thinking about my own life not knowing when I will leave this earth . I will be 70 at the end of this month and who knows what’s next for me . And Mike’s comments make me think of all the people I have shared the gospel with whether it be one on one or in song but I pray for all of them who have not accepted the gospel yet that would before it’s too late . Love to all my Center Point people

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