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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Anna's pantry
This colorful pantry for canned goods stores up food for a family of nine. Looks like they've already enjoyed some of the fruit of their labor.

"In Store For Me"

Message summary: Today we will consider what is stored up for us in heaven.

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Listen to this message on your audio player. Our new microphone arrived yesterday afternoon and we may have some more adjustments to make.

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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." (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Weber utility barnWe have a practice of storing up, especially household imperishables we'll
eventually need. Maybe we got a good value on a sale or a clearance item or were concerned there may be a future shortage. In our case storage is not a problem since we have a large amount of storage space in the loft of our utility barn. We were prepared early in the pandemic when there was a shortage of toilet paper since we already had a case stored in the barn. After all, I reason that if we don't use it all before God calls us home someone else can!

Brooksyne's mother, Ruth Sherrell, stored up a lot of essentials and non-essentials from her bargain hunting sprees over the years. In her last few years she stored up more and more items she thought she might need or want to give to others. In many instances she didn't remember she already had plenty of this or that, but it was a bargain, so she just stashed the item(s) in a drawer or closet.

After Ruth's death in 2001 Brooksyne and her siblings prepared the house for public auction since her dad had died the year before. In each room she found many duplicates of the same items such as scissors, reading glasses, clocks, sewing items, tools, etc. The most extreme example were the large scenic clocks displayed on two or three walls of each room. Brooksyne asked her once why she hung a clock on about every wall and she replied, "When I want to know the time I don't want to have to turn my head, I just want to look up and see what time it is." We haven't gone to that extreme yet but we sometimes find ourselves purchasing items we had already purchased but forgot, and now we laugh at ourselves just as we laughed at her mother.

But today we will consider a much more important aspect of what is stored up for us in heaven which cannot be purchased here on earth or stored up in a utility barn!

In our daily verse Paul is coming to the end of his life. He candidly states, "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering" and testifies, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7). What a peace-filled resolve these words reveal. We pray for grace that we might also face our inevitable death in such a way.

Paul continues,
"Now there is in store for me". He looked forward to what was in store for him in heaven. Perhaps he was alluding to the words of our Lord, "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:20).

Since his miraculous conversion on the Damascus Road Paul had given his life in service for the Lord Jesus Christ. He had been storing up treasures in heaven during the some 30 years that had passed since that time and he had faithfully stayed the course, though he was beaten, imprisoned, persecuted, shipwrecked, at times perplexed, and dealt with an unspecified "thorn in the flesh".

What was specifically in store for Paul was "the crown of righteousness", which the Lord, the righteous Judge, would award him. We don't know much about this "crown of righteousness" but it was sure something that he looked forward to receiving!

2 Timothy 1:12Consider the confidence and peace in his words, even as he faced a martyr's death as part of his sufferings for Christ. Earlier in this very letter he expressed his assurance, "I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 1:12).

There's something else in the verse that especially speaks to me and I pray that it speaks to you as well. Just five little words but they speak volumes to those who also strive to stay on course with Christ in this ever-increasing wicked age. "And not only to me." Paul gives us tremendous incentive in writing these five words. Let's cling to it today. This crown is not for him exclusively. Nor does he go on to say "and for you also Timothy", to whom he was writing.

No, instead he informs his readers that this crown of righteousness is stored up, "to all who have longed for his appearing". This is a promise spanning the church age and is applicable to those of us reading with Paul's belief in our own day. Paul looked earnestly for that day when he would see the Lord and often expresses it in his writings. The healthy outlook for the believer is to "love" or "long for" His appearing. That's our greatest longing. Let's keep our focus on that today as we faithfully serve Christ and steadfastly wait for "that Day"!

And on that day, we join the resurrection
And stand beside the heroes of the faith
With one voice, a thousand generations
Sing, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain"

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer:  Father, help us to remember in the course of this day, when so much of our work and planning is intended for this life only, that we must also fix our eyes on the life yet to come. May that which we say, think and do reflect kingdom principles that store up treasures for us in our heavenly kingdom even while we serve here below. We anxiously await that day when we receive the crown of righteousness reserved for those who have fought the good fight, finished the race, remained true to the faith, and whose greatest longing is for the glorious appearing of Christ. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Know Whom I Have Believed"  Video  Wendy Jans and Jeff Moore  This is a great song of faith we don't hear much anymore. There is so much edifying new music but these old songs still pack a punch.

"Address Change Notification"  Video  Southbound  Brooksyne's Note: I heard this on Gospel Greats this past Saturday and loved it! For southern gospel fans you will appreciate this upbeat gospel song reminding us that the address where we now live will someday be no more and our new address in heaven will be for all eternity.

"Believe For It"  Video   CeCe Winans  We dedicate this song to John, a friend from Springfield MO, who faces open heart surgery this week.

"Hymn of Heaven"  Video  Phil Wickham  We shared this song yesterday but this is the version by the original artist. The final song portion from our message is from this song.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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