2017-11-11 / Religion

Loving the appearing of Jesus

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14 ESV)

I believe Jesus is coming back. Ringing in my ear,

I hear the words of Jesus: “You also must be ready…”

Quite often I tell a story from my childhood. At one place we lived, there was a long driveway. At night, we could see a car coming towards our house from a long ways away.

When I was misbehaving, which is to say, when I was breathing, and my parents were away, I kept an eye on the driveway. I wanted to be aware of their returning that I might have time to correct myself.

Jesus is coming back, except, when he does, it will be with no other warning than what warning has already been given.

Indeed, it is a given that Christ will return.

When he does, it will be too late to get anything straight.

In lieu of all of that, here’s a probing question. Is this how you want to be living if Jesus came back today?

That has the potential to be a difficult question for some. It’s one worth asking.

You see, dear friends, we live between two great appearings.

The first, as Titus 2:11 says, is the appearing of grace. That is, Jesus Christ has appeared, and he gave himself to redeem us and purify us and set us aside for his own purposes and to make us zealous for good works. That has happened. He has appeared.

For we who have believed, we look back and labor in gratitude for what Jesus has done.

We live under that shed blood and walk with his abiding presence. For we who believe, his first appearing has changed everything about our lives.

Likewise, from his appearing for grace, we shall see his appearing for glory. That is the “blessed hope,” and this hope will not disappoint. This too is changing our lives.

It begs a big question; who shall be saved at his return?

Hebrews 9:27–28 says, “Just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

He will save those who eagerly are waiting for him.

Is that you?

Does a life of living gratitude and eager expectation describe your faith-walk?

As we close today’s thoughts, let’s let Jesus have the last word.

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:35-40 ESV)

Tim Bowes is executive director of My Life Matters. Questions and comments may be sent directly to Bowes at twbowes.lightsteps@gmail.com

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