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Commentary » II Timothy 4:5-II Timothy 4:8 »

Fulfill Your Ministry with Excellence

A young preacher once complained to Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the famous Baptist preacher, that he did not have as big a church as he deserved. “How many do you preach to?” Spurgeon asked. “Oh about 100,” the man replied. Solemnly Spurgeon said, “That will … More


No God-directed ministry is small or unimportant. We do not measure the fulfillment of a ministry only on the basis of statistics, or on what people see. To be “watchful and endure afflictions” (v. 5) means to keep cool when the circumstances of life are pressing in on you. It is important to not react quickly. In any work or ministry that you undertake, keeping your head makes you alert to the temptation of being rattled by pressure, and vigilant when facing heavy responsibility. “Do the work of an evangelist” (v. 5) tells Timothy that all of his ministry must have soul-winning at its heart.

We find Paul looking in three different directions: (v. 6-8)

  1. He looked around and realized that his time was short (v. 6). The word “departure” which  was a common expression for death means to set sail.              
  2. He looked back and summed up his life and ministry (v. 7). He was  able to look back and have no regrets. It might sound like he was bragging but he was only bearing witness of what God’s grace had brought.      
  3. He looked ahead and rejoices in the prospects for the future (v.8). The  victories have been won, the goal has been reached and all that remains are the rewards to enjoy.
As he neared the end of his life, Paul could say with confidence that he had been faithful to his call. Thus he faced death confidently, knowing that he would be rewarded and knowing that he would be rewarded by Christ.


If I was to die today would I be able to say the words in this passage with all honesty? If not, what areas do I need to work on?

II Timothy 4:5-8 (English Standard Version)

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth 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.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »