I am so thankful for the grace of God shown to me and shown to you. We have no possible standing with God apart from His matchless grace! Along with grace, and because of grace we now have peace with God through our faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. So I greet you in His name.
This is my last opportunity to share with you so I want to lay out what I feel is most important. The first and primary passion is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart. Jesus Himself made this the first commandment and our love for our God is a flow of response to His great love for us.
In keeping with Jesus’ commands I urge you to make love your aim for other people as well. Your sacrificial love for your wife will be your most Christ-like example of love. Certainly following that love for your wife will be a foundation of love for your children.
Without leaving your family behind there are so many other people to love. Don’t look down on anyone knowing that you apart from God’s grace could be just like them or worse. People need rescued from themselves, their sin and the snare of the devil. Be the one always ready with the message of hope for them. At times you wouldn’t start with words, so always be ready to engage in good deeds to show God’s love.
Now to Christ’s bride, the church—treat her as just that, a precious, loved bride of the Lord Jesus. Right now she has some spots and wrinkles but Jesus is working on that. Don’t get fixated with the spots but on the beauty of the bride. At the same time recognize the enemies of the church and guard yourself and the bride from them. They will come in as false teachers, or immoral people, or those who divide and stir controversies.
Your defense in protecting the church brings me to this all-important point—you must know and handle God’s Word accurately. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, will be your weapon to ward off the wolves. But wonderfully it is also the instrument of growth and encouragement along with perseverance for the believers. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Finally the Lord Jesus made it clear in this last command to us that this good news is to reach all nations. Don’t be small or narrow in your view of what God is doing or calling you to do. Be a world class Christian.
My heart’s desire is that both you and I will be found faithful right up to the end. It will include hardship, but Timothy, my son, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty strength!