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The Crown of Righteousness (Part 2 of 2)

2 Timothy 4:8
ID: 4711
Program

Did you know that only bad people go to heaven? Find out why when you study along with Alistair as he takes a closer look at an urgent warning and an undeserved reward. That’s our focus on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

From the Sermon

May 31, 2015 None

The Crown of Righteousness

2 Timothy 4:8

Series: Guard the Truth, Volume 4

Id: 3089
Water Reflections

Water Reflections

The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly.

Psalm 104:16

Without water the tree cannot flourish or even exist. Vitality is essential to a Christian. There must be life—a vital principle infused in us by God the Holy Spirit—or we cannot be trees of the Lord. Being a Christian merely in name is a dead thing; we must be filled with the spirit of divine life.

This life is mysterious. We do not understand the circulation of the water, by what force it rises, and by what power it descends again. So the life within us is a sacred mystery. Regeneration is performed by the Holy Spirit entering into man and becoming man’s life; and this divine life in a believer afterwards feeds upon Christ and is in this way sustained by divine food, but how it comes and where it goes who will explain to us?

What a secret thing the water is! The roots go searching through the soil, but we cannot see them suck out the various gases or transmute the mineral into the vegetable; this work is done down in the dark. Our root is Christ Jesus, and our life is hidden in Him; this is the secret of the Lord. The source of the Christian life is as secret as the life itself.

How permanently active is the water in the cedar! In the Christian the divine life is always full of energy—not always in fruit—bearing, but in inward operations. The believer’s graces are not always constant motion, but his life never ceases to palpitate within. He is not always working for God, but his heart is always living in Him. As the water reveals itself in producing the foliage and fruit of the tree, so with a truly healthy Christian, his grace is externally displayed in his walk and conversation. If you talk with him, he cannot help speaking about Jesus. If you notice his actions, you will see that he has been with Jesus. He is so full of Christ that He must fill his conduct and conversation.

Devotional material is taken from Morning and Evening, written by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org. Used by Truth For Life with written permission.

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.1 2Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. 3She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” 5And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”

So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels2 of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”

8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. 10And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12Are not Abana3 and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Gehazi's Greed and Punishment

15Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” 16But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the Lord. 18In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon your servant in this matter.” 19He said to him, “Go in peace.”

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” 22And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’” 23And Naaman said, “Be pleased to accept two talents.” And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi. 24And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed. 25He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.” 26But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.

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Footnotes
1 5:1 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
2 5:5 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
3 5:12 Or Amana

Pray for All People

1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man1 Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

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Footnotes
1 2:5 men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

Daniel's Prayer for His People

1In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, by descent a Mede, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans—2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the end of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

3Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. 4I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 5we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. 7To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame, as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. 9To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him 10and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. 12He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us,1 by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem. 13As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and gaining insight by your truth. 14Therefore the Lord has kept ready the calamity and has brought it upon us, for the Lord our God is righteous in all the works that he has done, and we have not obeyed his voice. 15And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have made a name for yourself, as at this day, we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

16“O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us. 17Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his pleas for mercy, and for your own sake, O Lord,2 make your face to shine upon your sanctuary, which is desolate. 18O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. 19O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

Gabriel Brings an Answer

20While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, 21while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. 22He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. 23At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

The Seventy Weeks

24“Seventy weeks3 are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.4 25Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again5 with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 26And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its6 end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. 27And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week,7 and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

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Footnotes
1 9:12 Or our judges who judged us
2 9:17 Hebrew for the Lord's sake
3 9:24 Or sevens; also twice in verse 25 and once in verse 26
4 9:24 Or thing, or one
5 9:25 Or there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It shall be built again
6 9:26 Or His
7 9:27 Or seven; twice in this verse

Psalm 117

The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever

1Praise the Lord, all nations!

Extol him, all peoples!

2For great is his steadfast love toward us,

and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 118

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

1Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

2Let Israel say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

3Let the house of Aaron say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

4Let those who fear the Lord say,

“His steadfast love endures forever.”

5Out of my distress I called on the Lord;

the Lord answered me and set me free.

6The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?

7The Lord is on my side as my helper;

I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in man.

9It is better to take refuge in the Lord

than to trust in princes.

10All nations surrounded me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

11They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

12They surrounded me like bees;

they went out like a fire among thorns;

in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

13I was pushed hard,1 so that I was falling,

but the Lord helped me.

14The Lord is my strength and my song;

he has become my salvation.

15Glad songs of salvation

are in the tents of the righteous:

“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,

16the right hand of the Lord exalts,

the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”

17I shall not die, but I shall live,

and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18The Lord has disciplined me severely,

but he has not given me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness,

that I may enter through them

and give thanks to the Lord.

20This is the gate of the Lord;

the righteous shall enter through it.

21I thank you that you have answered me

and have become my salvation.

22The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone.2

23This is the Lord's doing;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25Save us, we pray, O Lord!

O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

We bless you from the house of the Lord.

27The Lord is God,

and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

up to the horns of the altar!

28You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

you are my God; I will extol you.

29Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

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Footnotes
1 118:13 Hebrew You (that is, the enemy) pushed me hard
2 118:22 Hebrew the head of the corner
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

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