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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

II Timothy 4:8

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

For further study - II Timothy 4:1-8

I love the promise of a "crown of righteousness" that will be given to me at the "Judgment Seat of Christ" according to our key verse, verse 8, in our devotional reading for today.

I'll take a closer look at verse 8 in a moment but first let's look at the entire reading for today. Paul gives us a charge for today, even though it was written for the first century Church.

The principles of scripture are "timeless". Think about that statement. As we see even what have been "good" churches in our day slipping away from their connection with God's Word and His direction in every day life, especially in these last days, we must heed Paul's exhortation.

Paul gives us this charge before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, verse 1Verses 2-5 reveal what the charge for us today includes. Verse 2, "preach the Word," the Word that we are to study diligently, II Timothy 2:15.

Here's what we are to do, preach the Word and do it "in season and out of season". That means when we have an opportunity, "in season;" or when we make an opportunity, "out of season."

"Preaching the Word" is for reproof, rebuke, exhortation and doctrine, verse 2. We must "preach the Word" before there will be a time when even the members of the "body of Christ", the Church, will not endure "sound doctrine".

We are quickly approaching that time, a time when people will be going after their own lust, looking for teachers that "tickle the ears" of the hearers. We are quickly approaching the time Paul describes here when people turn from the true doctrines of the Word of God to man's fables.

Paul tells us, as he told the first century Church, to do the work, making full reproof of our ministry, verse 5. Paul then gives us his "swan song", verses 6 and 7. Paul realizes that his time of service is coming to an end. He "fought the fight", he "finished the course" and as he did so, he "kept the faith".

This is the example to follow, "fight the fight, finish the course and keep the faith" along the way. Now, at the end of Paul's thirty years of ministry, he is prepared because of what he tells us in II Timothy 4. He is looking forward to receiving the "crown of righteousness" at the Judgment Seat of Christ because he loves the "any moment" appearing of Jesus Christ at the Rapture.

Then Paul shares with us that we too can look forward to that same "crown of righteousness" if we also love His appearing and long for Him to come to take us to be with Him.

We must "love that appearing" more than anything this world has to offer. An in-depth study of Bible prophecy will help us to realize where we are in God's time for the last days. An understanding of "current events" in light of Bible prophecy will intensify our longing for His return.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to fight the fight, finish the course and keep the faith as I eagerly await Your shout for me to join You in the heavenlies.