2 Tim 2:7-8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have remained faithful. Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing.”
Paul uses the metaphor of athletics to describe his life and ministry. He has fought the fight, not an ordinary fight, but the “good” or “noble” fight. He has run the course and stayed on track. That’s why he then talks about the “crown,” the badge which would be awarded to the winner, like an Olympic medal today.
Paul would say that this total life was itself the result, not of his own unaided efforts, but of the hard work he had accomplished through the Holy Spirit at work within him. As with the logic of love, so with the logic of working for God in the power of the Spirit: God retains the initiative, and remains the ultimate source of energy. And when he or she does so, there will be an appropriate reward – not an arbitrary gift, but a glory and honor within God’s new world which corresponds to the kind of work that has been done (N.T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: The Pastoral Letters).
Today, let’s continue to respond to God’s fierce love for us and worship him. Let’s pray for the increasing works of the Holy Spirit in and amongst us so that we would respond with fighting the “good fight” in life and in ministry, as we long for Jesus’ appearing. May his salvations increase.