Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Living in Anticipation of His Return

Scripture Reading: John 7:25-39
When everything is ready, I will come and get you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly.” (John 14:3 NLT)
Dad, are we there yet? How I dreaded hearing those words over and over again from the back seat of the car as we drove along the highway leading to Niagara Falls. How do you explain time and distance to a small four year old child? My normal response was, “It’s only a little farther, Mike.” I found the usual clichés don’t seem to work with children. They might satisfy for a few moments, bit then I would hear it all over again, “Dad, how much longer?” “When will we get there?”
     I believe Jesus had the same problem with his disciples. On more than one occasion Jesus told his disciples that he was going back to the father, but his words fell on deaf ears. In John 7:33 Jesus said, “I will be here a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me.” And in John 16:5 He said, “But now I am going to the one who sent me, and none of you has asked me where I am going.” (NLT) What do you think was going through the disciples minds? Were they wondering what he meant? Were they confused, skeptical, doubting, discomfited, or in denial? I have no doubt the same kind of questions that were going through the minds of my children in the back seat of the car were flooding their minds. When will this happen? Can we go with you? How long will you be gone? When will you return? What will be the signs of your return?
     How many times in my life have I been in denial? Denial is an escape mechanism that we often use to avoid having to face the truth of our sin. I remember witnessing to a fellow sailor who kept telling me that he had never sinned or done anything wrong. How do you deal with a person who denies he is a sinner? Finally, I said to him, “That’s so sad, I really feel sorry for you.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Because the Bible says in Romans 5:8 that Christ died for sinners, and if you aren’t a sinner then he didn’t die for you and you can’t go to heaven.” He thought for a moment and then said, “Well, maybe I did do some bad things.” You see, he was only using denial as a means of escaping the truth.
     Jesus said, “I am going away, but I will return.” Do I really believe that promise, or am I living in a state of denial? If I truly believe, then I will be living in anticipation of his return. Every day when I wake up the question will be on my lips, “Will it be today, Lord?”
     Are you patiently waiting in anticipation of the Lord’s return? Jesus said, “Occupy till I come,” We need to be busy serving him while we are waiting.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me live in the expectancy of the soon return of the Savior. 

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