Now there is in store 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 longed for his appearing. 2 Tim 4:8 NIV
I'm always amazed when I meet "Christians" who aren't really excited about the return of Jesus. They don't think about it, don't plan for it, don't meditate on Eschatology Scriptures, don't read the signs of the times. They are just too caught up their current lives, in planning their futures. They concern themselves with education, getting a job, buying a house, vacations, cars, getting married, having kids, raising kids, grandchildren, what's on TV...etc. NONE of those things are wrong in themselves. They are all good things God has given us to enjoy in this world. And we have to do some of them to survive. But the question is, are they our entire focus? Do we shove God into a little 15 minute devotional in the morning and an hour service on Sunday? Are we LONGING for Jesus's Appearance? Or is a part of us hoping He doesn't come back for awhile so we can live our lives?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them 1 John 2:15 NIV
I used to feel that way. I was young, wanted to get married and have a family, experience life before Jesus came back. Was that wrong? Not wrong but foolish. Foolish because I had NO IDEA (and still don't in many ways) how wonderful eternity was going to be--far better than anything this earth has to offer! And foolish also in that when I put my desires and my focus on this world, it becomes my god, and I slowly drift away from the real God. Which is exactly what I did!!! I ended up in a HUGE mess in my 20s and 30s, even to the point, I believe, that I was no longer saved. (Yes I do believe we can lose our salvation by an act of our own will, but that's another topic)
What is the first thought that comes into your mind when you wake up? Is it.."Today could be the day I meet my Savior" or is it what you're going to have for breakfast, or all the tasks you have to complete that day, or problems with kids, friends, etc... just pouring into your mind like a waterfall. I recently heard a pastor say that every morning as soon as his mind wakes and all those problems and tasks start flooding in, he shuts them off and lays in beds and focuses on God. He thanks the Father for a new day and then asks if there's anyone he can pray for right then. Then he gives the day to God and asks God to use him that day to bring Him glory.
I'm going to try to do this from now on. Because, one thing I believe with all my heart is this: We are NOT put on this earth to please ourselves. We are put here to bring glory to God. That's it. Pure and simple. When we get to Heaven, we won't give a rat's behind whether our laundry is done or we got that promotion at work or how much savings we have in retirement or if that man broke our heart. We won't care if our house is clean or our yard mowed or whether we can afford a new car. In fact, I believe what most of us will be thinking is this: Why did I waste so much time on unimportant things?? Why didn't I spend more time with God? Learning about Him, listening to Him and following Him?
Jesus spoke often about this Himself. He told many parables about being on the alert for the Master's return, about keeping oil in your lantern (a symbol of the Holy Spirit), of using your talents for God's glory, of being a good steward of your Master's belongings because you never knew when He would return. Is Jesus coming back soon? I happen to think so. Whether or not you agree is irrelevant. He could come back for you today, this minute, in fact. Our lives are like grass, here one day, and gone tomorrow. So are you longing for His appearance?
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ
Jesus. No one serving as a
soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his
commanding officer. Similarly,
anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by
competing according to the rules. 2 Tim 2:3-5 NIV