January 21 – A Promise of Promises

“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 (ESV)

The promises God has made us and blessings He’s given us in these promises will never fail. We are reminded in today’s verses that we need to continue to believe and have faith in what God has promised. Hold on to our confidence in the face of whatever God allows to be put in our path of our lives. Due to persecutions, the recipients of this letter to the Hebrews were tempted to run away from their outward identification with Christ and Christians and to apostatize. His promise in the Bible is that He gives us the confidence and the endurance we need each day. It is His will for us to not lose the reward He’s promised. Each day we come closer than ever to our promised eternal reward. It’s no time to turn back. We don’t receive the great reward through our own effort of being good enough but by trusting each day in what God has promised. Our promise today is that we will receive what is promised by doing the will of God — which is to trust in Christ fully by living daily in the will of the Father.

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November 6 – Departure Time

“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV)

The “Crown of righteousness” can mean either that righteousness itself is the crown or reward, or that this crown is the reward for righteousness. We can read how the Bible speaks of the death of a believer, especially in the New Testament, we notice how the word “departure” is used rather than death. Jesus, Paul, and Peter all spoke of their physical death as a “departure.” Apostle Paul lived for about 60 years. When writing his second letter to Timothy, he knows then, for certain, his death is very near. But it was not the end of living, it was his time of departure from this world to live with God’s in heaven. Paul was one of untold number of Christians who Emperor Nero’s aggressive persecution killed, blaming them for the burning of Rome – which Nero had done himself. Paul speaks of it in this passage in very positive words. He does not fear his departure and he knows that His Lord has prepared a reward. Paul was not the only one to receive this Crown of Righteousness but all who love Christ’s appearing are promised the same reward on ‘that day’ which is the day of Christ’s return.

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