Focus on God

What a contrast!  The apostle Paul is coming to the end
of his ministry and life on this earth.  It's like he is
summarizing what has taken place when he says, "The
time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good
fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;
in the future 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)

Paul then goes on to tell Timothy the sad news that
Demas had deserted him because he loved "this
present world".  (2 Timothy 4:10)  Paul and everyone
loving the appearing of Jesus Christ are to be awarded
the crown of righteousness by the Righteous Judge
himself.  Demas, on the other hand, loved the world
more than the appearing of our Lord.  Sad.

I'm so glad that Jesus is the Righteous Judge.  Since he
has all the information and is holy, he renders a fair
verdict for all.  He knows those who eagerly wait for his
coming and no one will be able to disagree with his

Man cannot fool God.  His perfect knowledge of us is
mind-boggling.  He knows our thoughts before we even
have them. The greatest super-computer is a child's toy
compared to God.  Imagine, he can render not only a
fair,  but perfect and knowledgeable verdict.  Any man
that judges another must do so with the weakness of
imperfect knowledge.  All mankind will witness the
awesomeness of his righteous judgments.

The guilty are most often silent before a judge,
especially when the verdict is given.  Someday, when
the Righteous Judge is ready to judge, the guilty will
bow in silence for all will understand that he is the holy,
immutable, righteous judge.  I often picture God's
judgment day as instantaneous.  God will not have to
say anything.  Before the Righteous Judge, no one will
argue their case since all will see him in his glory and
bow before his majesty.  And for those feebly trying to
avoid God, there will be no place to hide.  His eyes will
pierce the souls before him and it will be over.  It will be
a terrible day for some.

Of special note is Paul's assurance that God was going
to reward him.  Paul says, "the righteous judge will
award..." (2 Timothy 4:8)  There was no fear on Paul's
part that he did not measure up or that his past would
"catch up to him".  He knew and taught Timothy that
the righteous judge knew not only how to judge but also
what to judge.  Paul remained  faithful in his longing for
Master - the One he loved.

I can safely say that the appearing of our Lord excites
me.  I'm not looking out for the Antichrist or some
leader of man to "fix things".  Jesus is who I eagerly
look for.  He is coming and is our
hope.  Unlike Demas,
things of this world are not what we are to pursue.  We
are to be like the deer of Psalm 42, panting for him as
for a water brook.  "My soul pants for You, O God.  My
soul thirsts for God, for the living God". (Psalm 42:1,2)

It is not often that anyone wants to come before a judge
but, like Paul, with other believers, we have security as
we look for the coming of the Righteous Judge, Jesus
Christ our Lord.      
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