“WHAT ARE YOU LONGING FOR?” (2 Timothy 4:8)

“WHAT ARE YOU LONGING FOR?” (2 Timothy 4:8)
Crown of Righteousness February 26, 2017 10:30 AM
Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor

TODAY’S SPECIAL “A Senior Citizen Funny”. Two elderly gentlemen from a retirement center were sitting on a bench under a tree when one turns to the other and says, “Slim, I’m 83 years old now and I’m just full of aches and pains. I know you’re about my age. How do you feel?”
Slim says, “I feel just like a newborn baby.”
“Really!? Like a newborn baby!?”
“Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”  

INTRODUCTION: By request, we are studying the 5 crowns found in Scripture which a believer could be given by the Lord Jesus when we get to heaven. We have learned much so far! One day we will cast all our crowns at Jesus’ feet, reminding Him – and us – that these crowns are for His glory. We learned about the “Incorruptible Crown” – for all believers & it involves a journey in training which includes Bible reading, prayer, and focused service for Jesus’ glory. Did you know that Luke 13:22 says that “Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem.” This is what we’re talking about! Last week we learned about the “Crown of Rejoicing” – it is given to the pastor and his sheep to work together as one body.
Today we are looking at the “Crown of Righteousness”. Paul shared about it in the very last chapter he wrote just before his death. Is that significant? PRAYER

#1 WHAT DOES PAUL SAY? (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
* 2 Tim. 4:6-8 was written around three major thoughts from Paul:
(1). 3:14-15 (see also 1:5) Paul reminds Timothy of his family roots in the faith, beginning with his grandmother! Some of you are grandparents (some of you are GRAND parents!). What roots in faith are you providing for your children – and grandchildren?
(2). 3:16-17 ALL Scripture is God-breathed! And ALL Scripture is profitable. Some of you have been around a long time – have you read ALL the Scriptures? And have you found them ALL profitable? S.O. 4:13
(3). 4:9 Demas forsook Paul for the world. How about you?
2 Tim. 4:6-8 shows an eternal perspective. Paul gives several thoughts:
(1) I’m a “drink offering” (v. 6a) – seemingly good for nothing as far as the world is concerned, but poured out before the Lord as an offering for His worth, His value. How about us, you?
(2) I am “eternity conscious” (v. 6b) Paul had a strong sense of his mortality. So did David (Psalm 39:4-7). So did Moses (Psalm 90:12). Us? You?
(3) I have a “longing” (vs. 7-8). Paul longed for an eternal presence before the Lord! He LONGED – not for fame or wealth or lasting earthly security. He knew his earthly accomplishments (v 7). He LONGED for Jesus’ appearing!
Illustration: I share my crown (v. 8) with ALL who LONG for Jesus’ appearing! Do we truly LONG to be with Jesus? Or do we LONG for LONGER life here?
Fill in the blank: “I LONG for ___________________.”
Did you say “for Jesus appearing”?

Illustration: In 1834, Edward Mote wrote the following words with a desire to relate about “the gracious experience of a Christian”:
My hope is built on nothing less. Than Jesus’ blood and RIGHTEOUSNESS.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly trust in Jesus’ name.
Refrain: On Christ the solid rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand; All other ground is sinking sand.
When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His RIGHTEOUSNESS alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. Refrain
Check out Luke 12:
* v. 22 While waiting, do not worry.
* v. 36 While waiting, be ready, waiting for the Master.
* v. 42 While waiting, be faithful
Again, the Master asks, “are you LONGING for My appearing?”

Illustration: I learned this week of a good friend who had a near-death experience. After surviving his surgery, he did much soul searching, life reflecting. This is what he realized: before surgery, he thought only of his projects, his goals & his dreams. Nothing – and no one – was more important than himself. After surgery, he realized the brevity of life, that he had been given a second chance. He is purposing to appreciate people instead of sloughing them off quickly. He has also been encouraged to remember the One Who gave Him that second chance – and to remember Him as the One Whose first chance was found at the cross.
How about you? If YOU were given a second chance in life, what would you long for?
What if TODAY is that second chance?

close in prayer

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