Jesus Will Be Arriving
By: Beth Patch, 1.cbn.com
But when we die we will be face-to-face with Christ, the One who experienced death once for all to bear the sins of many! And now to those who eagerly await him, he will appear a second time; not to deal with sin, but to bring us the fullness of salvation. (Hebrews 9:28 TPT)
“JESUS WILL ARRIVE IN 3 DAYS” displayed on my vacation rental manager app. I smiled. I never had a guest with the first name Jesus before. The message sparked my imagination.
What would I do if I knew Jesus Christ, my Savior, was returning in three days? [Please forgive the break from reality – I know none of us will know ahead of time (Matthew 24:36).]
Imagine with me — Jesus arrives in 3 days. My first reaction is joy. I’m going home. I will be with Jesus, my closest friend! God’s son who suffered torture and death to bear the penalty for my rebellious sinful life is coming to get me. The faithful one who stayed with me in times of deep sorrow, who carried my burdens and changed my life for the better is on his way. I will be taken away from this place riddled with death, hatred, evil, and unfairness. The epic day, the huge change in life as we know it, is happening in three days.
Amid all my excited visions of trumpets blasting, the sky filled with angels, and praises to the Lord Jesus coming from all those around me who are being drawn to him, I hit a moment of despair.
What about those who never believed they were sinners? Those who never reconciled with God the Father? I know some of them. I love them. Their future will be much different. They will receive God’s judgment for their sins. They didn’t believe the Father loves them. They only believed what they thought was right. They never humbled themselves to God and admitted they had sinned against the great I AM. They thought it was all foolishness. They didn’t believe they needed forgiveness or mercy. And now, in three days, their souls will reap what they’ve sown. They will be judged. And the prince of this world, Satan, will laugh at them and torture them forever … there will be screaming and crying and begging for mercy.
My spirit grieves for them. All of a sudden, I’m not elated anymore. Time’s up. The judgment is coming. In three days.
It’s not enough time. I don’t want anyone to spend eternity separated from Father God. And, the truth is, it could be today.
Lord, please help us to remember those who are lost and spend the rest of our time here doing all we can to be vessels that you will use to build your kingdom. Help us to live so surrendered to you that others want to know you because they are attracted to the light of your great love. The signs are everywhere that your return is soon. Please pour out your spirit. Have mercy on us, oh Lord.
An appalling and horrible thing has happened … prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority, and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it? – Jeremiah 5:30-31 NASB
The land was filled with false prophets, men inspired not by God but their own thoughts and desires. Even priests ruled “on their own authority.” They did not submit to God or seek His will. Instead, they focused on their own personal interests.
What made matters worse was that God’s people loved the actions of these priests and prophets! To God, this was “an appalling and horrible thing.” These religious leaders might have enjoyed exercising their personal power, but eventually, they would realize their own pleasures would not last into eternity.
God asked them, “What will you do at the end of it?” They failed to realize that the day was coming when their pleasures, power, and even their lives would come to an end. They would look back and see clearly how they had served themselves, but forgotten about God. They would see how they had done things that brought them immediate benefit, but for which they would pay the consequences in eternity.
You have the opportunity to learn from these men and their short-term perspective. Are you just living for today, or are you remembering the eternal consequences of your actions? Are you placing a higher emphasis on your personal interests and desires, or on serving God? Remember, one day you will face God and give an account of your life. “What will you do at the end of it?”
Light, natural and spiritual
By: Charles Spurgeon
‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.’ Genesis 1:3–5
Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 5:8–14
‘God saw the light, that it was good.’ Light is good in all respects. The natural light is good. Solomon says, ‘Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.’ But you did not need Solomon to inform you upon that point. Any blind man who will tell you the tale of his sorrows will be quite philosopher enough to convince you that light is good. Gospel light is good. ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see.’ You only need to travel into heathen lands, and witness the superstition and cruelty of the dark places of the earth, to understand that gospel light is good. As for spiritual light, those that have received it long for more of it, that they may see yet more and more the glory of heaven’s essential light! O God, thou art of good the unmeasured Sea; thou art of light both soul, and source, and centre. Whether, then, we take natural light, gospel light, spiritual light, or essential light, we may say of it, as God did, that it was good. But we are speaking now of light spiritual. Why is that good? Well, it must be so, from its source. The light emanates from God, in whom is no darkness at all, and, as it comes absolutely and directly from him, it must be good. As every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, so everything which comes from above is good and perfect. The Lord distributes no alloyed metal: he never gives his people that which is mixed and debased. Thy words, O God, are pure; as silver tried in the furnace of earth purified seven times. The light of the new nature is good when we consider its origin.
For meditation: Light is good, because God is light (1 John 1:5) and the Father of lights (James 1:17). Not surprisingly the evildoer hates the light (John 3:19–20). Have you become a child of light by following the light of the world (John 8:12) and trusting in him (John 12:35–36)?
With the King for His Work – Streams in the Desert – November 12, By: L.B. Cowman
Times have changed, but life’s hard times haven’t
These were the potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work (1 Chron. 4:23).
Anywhere and everywhere we may dwell “with the king for his work.” We may be in a very unlikely and unfavorable place for this; it may be in a literal country life, with little enough to be seen of the “goings” of the King around us; it may be among the hedges of all sorts, hindrances in all directions; it may be furthermore, with our hands full of all manner of pottery for our daily task.
No matter! The King who placed us “there” will come and dwell there with us; the hedges are right, or He would soon do away with them. And it does not follow that what seems to hinder our way may not be for its very protection; and as for the pottery, why, that is just exactly what He has seen fit to put into our hands, and therefore it is, for the present, “His work.”
–Frances Ridley Havergal
Go back to thy garden-plot, sweetheart!
Go back till the evening falls,
And bind thy lilies and train thy vines,
Till for thee the Master calls.
Go make thy garden fair as thou canst,
Thou workest never alone;
Perhaps he whose plot is next to thine
Will see it and mend his own.
The colored sunsets and starry heavens, the beautiful mountains and the shining seas, the fragrant woods and painted flowers, are not half so beautiful as a soul that is serving Jesus out of love, in the wear and tear of common, unpoetic life.
The most saintly spirits are often existing in those who have never distinguished themselves as authors, or left any memorial of themselves to be the theme of the world’s talk; but who have led an interior angelic life, having borne their sweet blossoms unseen like the young lily in a sequestered vale on the bank of a limpid stream.