Tag Archives: Jesus’ return

Titus, Philemon; The Alternative

A friend of mine recently said, “I figure every day I’m still alive is a good day, when you consider the alternative.” I said, “I look forward to the alternative.”

Paul, in the two short letters I read today reminds us that, as Christians, we have important work to be doing, regardless of our ages. There are people who need the Lord, and it’s up to us to be sure they hear about the Savior. We are to be encouraging one another, teaching about and growing in our relationship with Jesus, “while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God, and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2:13)

It’s not that I have a death wish. I love life here on planet Earth. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. But I also would love to be home. G. Campbell Morgan put it like this, “I am not looking for death, I’m looking for Him.”

And so am I.

Let’s get busy today living. Let’s be Jesus’ voice, hands, and feet to people who need him. Let’s talk about Jesus with people we come in contact with today. What a privilege to live for Jesus today.

And together, let’s keep one eye on the sky. We might actually get to meet Him today. My heart might stop beating. I might close my eyes, and open them in heaven today. Or this might be the day Jesus comes again in the clouds and take us all home. Either way, the alternative to this life, with all its cares and worries, even the measure of joy and blessing we experience here will be behind us. Then the fun begins for us who have accepted God’s grace through the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Or we might live another fifty years, Jesus might not come back for another 2,000 years. We don’t know. The only thing we know for sure is that this life is not forever. There is an eternity. And Jesus will come again.

Do you know Him? Are you ready to meet Him? If you aren’t, find someone who does and talk to them. If you are, be that person who will lead a sinner to the salvation Jesus bought for them.

Christian, get busy. And be assured, the alternative to this life is wonderful beyond imagination.

 

1&2 Thessalonians; Here Comes The Judge

As I read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, some of the old hymns were running through my mind. “One Day He’s coming, O glorious day!” “With power and great glory, He is Coming Again.”  “When The Role Is Called Up Yonder I’ll Be There.”

There is a lot of speculation about the events surrounding the day Jesus returns to earth. There always has been. Paul reminds us that the only thing that really matters is the fact that Jesus will come back, in the blink of an eye. And no one will have a heads-up on His timing.

If you read these letters, you’ll hear Paul encourage us who know the Savior to be busy doing His work, reaching out to the lost, telling people about Jesus. Because when Jesus comes back, He will judge the world.

And He will show no mercy to those who don’t know Him.

Only those who are wearing His righteousness, purchased for us with His own precious blood, will be declared, “Not guilty,” because Jesus took our guilty verdict on Himself. We will be able to look into the eyes of this Holy, fearsome, Judge, and see only forgiveness and love.

But anyone looking into those same eyes, standing before Him trying to wear their own righteousness, will have reason to be terrified. Those who stand before the final Judge on their own will hear the guilty verdict they deserve.

Personally, I look forward to gazing into those piercing eyes. Because, when He judges me, He’ll be seeing someone who is washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. I pray you can say the same.

 

December 3 – A Twinkling Eye

I Corinthians 15-16

Can you read these last chapters of I Corinthians and not get excited about “the twinkling of an eye,” the trumpet sound that will announce Jesus’ return, when “we will all be changed”? This broken down body of mine will be replaced with an unbreakable one. This mortal will put on immortality.

And I will finally see Jesus face to face. I want to shout, Hallelujah, just thinking about it!

For Christians, that day is something to get excited about, like children looking forward to Christmas morning. We will be swooped up into heaven, either from the grave, or while going about our day. And we’ll find ourselves in the most glorious place, at the throne of God!

But if you haven’t accepted the Savior as your own, you have reason to fear that day. The sound of that trumpet will cause terror to those who don’t know Jesus. Seeing Jesus descending from heaven, gathering up your neighbors, friends, and loved ones, will leave you utterly alone. You’ll look into Jesus’ eyes and see rejection, and know you have no one to blame but yourself.

Jesus is coming again. That’s a fact. I pray that you will be counted among those who welcome Him, because you’ve placed your sins at His feet and allowed Him to cover every one of them with His blood.

I pray that the twinkling eye will be yours when that trumpet sounds!

November 8 – Bridesmaids Unprepared

Matthew 25

How are you getting ready for Jesus’ return? Have you prepared your heart, used the gifts and abilities He gave you in service to Him, showed His love to others in tangible ways? Jesus is coming again. And whether we meet Him in the air at the sound of the trumpet, or experience death first, we will stand before Him on that day!

My prayer is that, most importantly, God has your heart. I pray that you have asked Him to forgive your sin, to be your Savior. Then I pray that you have nurtured the gifts He’s given you, and used them to win lost souls for His kingdom.

Are you a faithful servant? Do you put His love in action by caring for all people, giving of your time and resources?

I hope you’re not like five of the bridesmaids we read about today who did just enough to be able to say they were part of the company. But that wasn’t enough. And they couldn’t depend on anyone else to get them ready to meet the Bridegroom.

And neither can we. Our relationship with God is personal. Our accountability to Him is dependent on our own actions.

I pray you will not put off getting right with God. When the Bridegroom comes, and He will, it will be too late to put oil in that lamp.

November 7 – The Many

Matthew 24

Jesus’ disciples asked Him what the signs would be announcing His second coming, and the “end of the age.” The Lord told them there would be people claiming to be Him, wars, famines, earthquakes.

He said life will be hard for His followers. They will experience tribulation, will be hated and killed because they follow Jesus. Some of His followers will fall away and turn on each other. They’ll be mislead by false teaching, and lawlessness will increase.

Was He describing 2016?

But then He said half of a verse that broke my heart. 24:12b:

most people’s love will grow cold.

The word “most” makes me sad. Makes me wonder how many of the people who attended church yesterday would be able to say their love for God is the burning passion of their lives? Or is their love like that for a buddy? Comfortable, warm, but not consuming?

Also makes me wonder about the temperature of my own love of my Savior. Is it the driving force behind my every thought and action? Is it a passion that burns every minute of every day, that ignites me to serve Him with purposeful enthusiasm?

Jesus said that before He returns, MANY of His people’s hearts will turn cold toward Him. I do not want to be counted among the “many.”

December 25

Hebrews 13; I John 1-3

Jesus is born! God became flesh and blood. He didn’t come as an adult, or even to a family with prestige. God humbled himself and started life as an infant, just like we did. He was helpless, totally dependent on others. His mom fed him when he was hungry and changed his diaper when it was wet and messy. Mary and Joseph heard Jesus’ first words. Did he say, “Mama”, or “Dada”? They watched Jesus take his first steps on chubby, wobbly little legs and held his hand when they crossed the street. They kissed his boo-boos and read him bed time stories. God himself became one of us!

John reminds us that this same Jesus, who we know as Christ, who died so we might have life, who rose again and ascended into heaven, is coming again. John wants us to be able to face him on that day confident and unashamed.

Today we celebrate the birth of the Savior. Do you know him? How has Jesus’ birth effected you in 2013? Have you accepted his grace? Have you invited him into your life? And do you represent him well by your actions, your words, your love for one another?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)

Provided by the One whose birth we celebrate today.

Dearest Jesus, I am glad we set apart this day to remember your birth into our world. At least for one day a year, the entire world stops and honors you, even if many don’t get it. May we who do get it, who are your children because of your love and your sacrifice, not get caught up in the presents and the parties. May we recognize what it cost you to be born that day. May we not forget that the baby we celebrate grew up and 33 years later suffered and died because of our sin. And may we live our lives in such a way that when you return… and you will return… we will be able to meet you with confidence. I  pray that in this season of remembering, many will come to you and accept you into their lives, repent of sin, and follow you. That’s why you came in the first place. Happy Birthday, Jesus.