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.
To all who have longed for His (God’s) appearing! Look forward to His appearing – THIS IS AN ETERNAL REWARD!
- In the time this was written a CROWN represented the height of POWER, AUTHORITY, RICHES and REWARD!
- The people who wore the crown ruled the world.
- Kingdoms went to war over crowns and the right to wear them.
Kerrin said that he didn’t want us to miss firstly this morning that Paul is promising a GREAT and VALUABLE REWARD!
- Too often we are so focused on this life and the here and now that we forget we will spend many times more of our life in the eternal realm than this earthly one!
We should be diligent to make sure we pursue reward and what God lists as of eternal value far more than the pursuit of earthly treasure or pleasures.
My question today (for myself as much as anyone) is:
- “Do we live our lives longing for God to appear in it and through it?”
Sadly there is a temptation in western/modern Christianity to want the opposite!
- God stay out of my way, don’t intrude on my wishes, desires, attitudes, I want to skip want I want thank you -Spotify Christianity –
- But when there is a problem – We want God to appear to sort it out but THEN we say – thanks God, I have it from here…
- We think (through our social conditioning) that belief in God (religion) is a personal box and that God should stay in that box… unless of course we need Him for something…
That is not the kind of Christianity described in the Bible.
- God is loving, kind, patient, forgiving, merciful and gracious, BUT HE WILL ALSO NOT BE MOCKED!
- He is all powerful, mighty, King of kings, ruler of heaven and earth and if we think that He is okay with US wanting to HIDE Him. He will not accept that, nor will He exist within our boxes and limiting Him in our lives. He will not take second place.
Mark 8:38 (NIV)
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
When we long for someone or something to appear:
Do we expect God to appear in our lives?
We look forward to things we are expecting… We are not looking forward to things we are not expecting… Sounds like a Dr Seuss Book!
When you are at a restaurant and you have ordered your meal, you are expecting it to come well before others who came to the restaurant much later than you.
Perhaps at times we are not eager looking for God in situations because we just don’t expect Him to be there…
- It’s just work – We don’t expect God to be there.
- It’s just another week – We don’t expect God to show up.
- It’s just ME – We don’t expect God to show up in OUR LIFE.
The Bible shows that God shows up in UNEXPECTED PLACES and SITUATIONS but because PEOPLE EXPECTED HIM TO.
God wants to appear in your workplace and your life. Expect Him to appear.
Kerrin preached last week on the WONDER of God and the fact that God shows up every day in our bathroom mirror, the miracle of creation, purpose and God’s love for us – but we don’t expect it so we see nothing but the imperfections, We don’t see the WONDER of God.
In our prayer life or reading the Bible and our personal relationship with God, do we EXPECT HIM to be there?
How many of us are desperate for a word from God – but have passed over the many thoughts HE HAS SENT – because we weren’t expecting God in our day to day, normal thinking life!
- EXPECT God to give you a THOUGHT or IDEA.
- EXPECT God to open a door to share His love.
- EXPECT God to bring one of His promises to pass.
- EXPECT God to present a situation at work where HE can be seen.
- EXPECT God to be present in our home and family.
When we long for something – we EXPECT it and it makes us look for it.
Where in our lives are we EXPECTING GOD to:
- Do something.
- Say something.
- Make a way.
- Show up.
- Be visible in our lives.
- We are looking for it!
Do we approach our life LOOKING for ways that God can and will appear?
When we LONG FOR something, we expect it, but that leads to us looking for it.
Sadly some people spend all their life looking for reasons where God hasn’t appeared rather than where He has!
Mark 1:37 (NIV)
“and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
What a surprise they found Jesus, because they were looking for Him!
Are we looking for HIM?Or are we looking for:
- Others praise.
- Blessing – rather than God (keep your eyes and heart on Jesus and he will put blessing in your hands).
- For this world and life.
- Are all our hopes, plans and purpose that we look for linked to our income, our house, here and now, our career or are they linked to HIM?
IN our lives do we LOOK FOR HIM!
- Look for Him in the good times, but also look for Him in the bad.
- It is easy to miss God in the tough times because we keep looking at the tough times instead of looking for God in the midst of it.
- When our life is just powering on, ARE WE LOOKING FOR GOD IN IT?
- Looking for
- WHAT HE IS SAYING?
- WHAT HE IS DOING?
- WHERE IS HIS PURPOSE?
Psalm 18:30 (NLT)
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
He is a shield for those who LOOK for Him.
Kerrin’s experience in life has taught him that people find what they are looking for.
- When we are looking for a particular thing – it’s amazing how many suddenly appear because we are looking for it.
Church can Kerrin encourage you, that if you LOOK FOR GOD – HE is everywhere! There are constantly opportunities to:
- Show Him to the world.
- Praise Him for His goodness.
- See Him working in our situations.
IF WE LOOK FOR HIM we will find Him!
The reason we long for it, is that there is desire for it to appear!
Watch a person falling ‘in love’ especially early days and they check their phone every 30 seconds for their girlfriend or boyfriend text.
- They just want more than almost anything for that message alert to go off.
- Talk to someone who is purchasing a new car or house they have worked incredibly hard for, saved for and now they are to have it soon. They have the desire and eagerness for it to appear.
- It’s what they are totally focused on.
Do we DESIRE God to appear in our world?
- If I consider my attitude to God showing up at my work – Do I desire it?
- In my family, to my kids is it a desire that God appears?
- Am I more worried about their sporting career or schooling than their eternal relationship with Jesus?
- In my own life do I desire God or is He an inconvenience to ‘real life’.
- Sadly so many miss the incredible relationship God has to offer because to them He is an inconvenience to their time, work, business, sport, pleasure.
- With my friends am I desiring for God to show up, or dreading that He be brought up?
Have you ever had an interaction where you felt like you were an inconvenience to someone in a group of people – you just want to get out of there as fast as possible!
- How do we think God feels when He is treated like that… when we treat His church, His people are an inconvenience-
- Do we honestly think we will carry His presence and He will APPEAR very often?
Kerrin is constantly surprised at people who live like God is an inconvenience not a priority, then expect Him to appear when trouble comes. It doesn’t even make sense.
We need to DESIRE and long for a relationship with God – there needs to be a hunger for Him.
Matt 5:6 (NIV)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
The Bible talks a lot about our hunger for God, our desire for Him, keeping our first love for Him.
Do we LONG for God to APPEAR in our life?
Kerrin is convinced that the church will not truly impact our community because we have better programs or slicker services.
It will grow when the people in it LONG for God to APPEAR:
- In our work places.
- In our sporting clubs.
- In our prayer lives.
- In our homes and kids lives.
- IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE!
Kerrin said to every person today that Paul says there will be a crown of eternal reward for those that are LONGING for GOD’S appearance.
If we do not have a longing for God’s appearance then perhaps we need to spend some time talking with God, asking for Him to give us a fresh love for and hunger for God in our lives.
Make a decision for God to be a part of your life.
He needs to be in every part of our lives.
He is real, living and powerful.
Believe for God to appear in your life. Make Him number one in your life.
He has made a way for you.
He is saying come back to Him.
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- Are you focussing on what Paul is promising – a GREAT and VALUABLE REWARD!
- How do you think we should do this?
- Are you expecting God to appear in your life?
- Do we DESIRE God to appear in our world?