Run toward Righteousness
2 Timothy 4:6-8(NIV)
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 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.
This past weekend, there was a marathon which also acts as a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. This weekend, another marathon takes place downtown, so there will be more traffic closures as runners run on the city streets. There is no doubt that most of the runners who are running the full marathon started small and did the shorter 5km race and then moved up to the half-marathon and finally the full marathon. You have to be aware of your limitations and pace yourself so that you don’t start off too strong and fail to finish. Every runner wants to finish the finish line.
Paul is encouraging Timothy by telling him that his time is nearing its end. He has finished the race and did not cheat like some runners may try to do and so be disqualified. He kept the faith and the reward is the crown or righteousness which will be awarded to him by Jesus. It gives us a different perspective that the goal of following Jesus is to achieve righteousness. We become righteous spiritually because of the blood of Christ, but we are still sinful in our hearts. When we have finished the race, we will no longer need to battle sin as sin will no longer be part of our nature. Righteousness will be the goal for each and every one of us.