Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Christ’s return’

What’s After Christmas?

Today will be a sad day—saying goodbye to Christmas

  • taking down the tree
  • reading the last Christmas devotional
  • putting away the Christmas music
  • eating the last pieces of Christmas candy.

But in eleven months we’ll be getting it all out again—OR ELSE we’ll be in Jesus’ presence enjoying a much greater celebration than our annual ones here.

We live in between Jesus first and second advents.  As we review the prophecies and promises that were fulfilled in great detail during Jesus’ birth, life, and death long ago, we can be sure that the remaining prophecies and promises will also be fulfilled in just as amazing detail when He comes again–no longer as a helpless baby or a dead man on a cross as so many view Him during the primary Christian holidays—but as a joyous Bridegroom coming to claim His bride. 

Many criticize people like me who get excited about Christ’s return.  But Jesus Himself told us to be watching, waiting and ready (Matthew 25).  And he has promised a reward for “all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8.

And what is so strange about an engaged woman planning, preparing and dreaming of her wedding—of beginning a new life with the one she loves, excited about being together always, growing ever deeper in their relationship,  living happily ever after?

When we were kids, we loved those stories.  After all the poverty and misery, cruel stepmothers and evil spells, we knew there would be a “happy ever after” with her beloved.  I believe God has built that hope into the human soul because it’s actually true—not just a bedtime story but a reality that will make this present world, when we look back on it, seem like a dim and fleeting shadow.

We fix our eyes on things that cannot be seen.  For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:18

Bright New World 
(Listen at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwUOkzyffjs

Someday a bright new wave will break upon the shore
And there will be no sickness
No more crying, no more war
And little children never will grow hungry anymore
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share

Someday there’ll be an end to unkind words and cruel
The man who said there is no God will know he is a fool
And peace will be the way of life with love the only rule
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share

Someday we know not when, when time on earth is done
And those redeemed from every land will all become as one
Voices of all ages praising God the three in one
And there will be a bright new morning over there
There’ll be a bright new world for us to share

Advertisements

Times to Celebrate

Today we are celebrating many things:

–37 years since my husband and I became parents for the first time.  Happy Birthday, Nathan!  You fill us with love and pride.

–Two years since I started this blog.  I pray it is a blessing to others; it has been so to me.

–And our five-day committee work session on Old Testament key biblical terms is finished—though that work has barely begun.

And now I celebrate the beginning of a weekend and this evening at home.  Thank you, God, for times to work and times to rest.  Thank you for your presence and the hope of seeing you one day—perhaps soon.  Now, that will be the ultimate celebration!

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Waiting and Working

Jesus’ disciples were bewildered and confused.  After all that their Messiah had gone through (including suffering and death which they certainly hadn’t expected), surely there need be no more delay for the long-awaited Kingdom that Jesus had been talking so much about–right?  (See Acts 1:3 & following.)

Finally they just had to ask outright:  “Are you going to set up the Kingdom now and be our King?” 

Jesus:  You’re not being copied on the details, but I have an assignment for you:  You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  Then He takes off! 

Still bewildered, they gaze into the sky until He disappears from their sight and an angel assures them that Jesus will be back.  Still, though, they weren’t told when!

Why the delay?  As the disciples obeyed orders, God’s wonderful plan unfolded in a way they had never really understood before.  It was time for the world to hear and be included in God’s kingdom—including Gentiles like me!  (By the way, Judas couldn’t wait, accept, and obey.  When the Kingdom didn’t materialize on his schedule, he became disillusioned and—well, we know that story….)

Living with ambiguity isn’t easy for me.  I want to know what’s going to happen and when, and what my part is in it.  I have much to learn from these first believers:  waiting, trusting, obeying one step at a time.  Still, as I watch and wait and work on my “assignments,” my heart cry is… “Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!”

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

New Year Musings…

“It’s a sad day for all of us!”—a famous quote in our family (from my niece), describes our feeling upon taking down the Christmas decorations.  Do all the joy, peace, and hope go with us into the new year?  If God is with us (Immanuel), surely they will.

What does this new year hold?  I don’t make New Year’s resolutions—they’re too quickly broken.  But these are among the things I pray will happen:

–The salvation of a friend.

–Worldwide turning to the Lord.

–Revival among God’s people.

–More Christ-likeness in myself.

–Courage and joy to face whatever lies ahead in this uncertain world, knowing Who holds my hand.

–Christ’s return!  Maranatha! (Aramaic for ‘Our Lord, come!’ in 1 Corinthians 16:22)  I plan to end my posts this year with this word as a reminder to all of us—to keep looking up and be ready whenever He comes.

While Waiting—How to Live

I keep puzzling over how God’s people should live in this world that’s falling apart at the seams as we wait for His kingdom to arrive in all its power and put it all right.  This morning I read Matthew 24-25 which answers this very question.  Here is what Jesus says:

Don’t be alarmed when terrible things begin to happen.  24:6

Don’t be deceived by false messiahs (or teachings, etc.) 24:5-26

Hang in there, enduring faithfully to the end even when persecutions come. 24:9-13

Keep alert and be ready to meet him whenever He shows up (like a householder on the guard for burglars).  24:42-44

Keep working faithfully, not getting careless about sin (like an abusive manager). 24:45-50

Be wise; don’t slide into apathy or laziness (like the 5 foolish virgins). 25:1-13

Wisely use the resources God has entrusted to us during His absence. 25:14-29

Care, share, & serve others in need, as if they were Christ Himself!  25:31-45

With these assignments, there won’t be time for fussing, fretting, or fear!

Tag Cloud