Friday, November 30, 2012

The Return of the King

The Return of the King

My wife, Sheila, was so excited when we woke up Saturday morning, while at the same time I was groaning.  What was behind those opposing emotions?  Not because it was Thanksgiving weekend. Not because the first day of deer season was Monday. Not because I was with her. 


Sheila gets delightedly excited when snow falls from the heavens while I dread the nasty wet stuff. The difference?  She looks forward the beauty of freshly fallen snow. She looks forward to the look of newness when it covers the earth.  She looks forward to days when shuts life down and when are forced to stay home.  She looks forward to the hush that falls when the snow hushes all noise.  She looks forward to walking in it and even shoveling it!  It’s about all the ways snow adds value to life.

I dread it the troublesome precipitation!! My thoughts go many directions, none of which have anything to do with beauty, newness, cozy days at home, romantic walks or hushing noises.  My thoughts are about trying to get off of the treacherous, icy, slick hill we live on, the dangers of driving in it, the aching muscles from shoveling it, paying for it to be removed, the wasted time I have to spend on it.  It’s about all the ways it sucks value from my life. 

Same snow.  Even the same home.  Sheila longs for it and I don’t have one cell in my body that wants it.

Very much like the two mindsets of humanity about Jesus coming back.

The Bible tells us we should be excited, longing, even praying for the Return of the King - Jesus.  Not just knowing it as a fact and promise of our Lord, but focused on it, LONGING for that day.  I’m ashamed to admit that I have not been LONGING for my Savior’s return.

“Both the Old and New testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ. One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ's second coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books give it prominence. In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ--an amazing 1 out of every 30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning Christ's first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!”  (Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 27).

You get the idea that the return of the King is a big deal to God!  Something that we should be LONGING for.  But… most Christians I’ve met are not focused on Jesus’ return.  I’ve been asking myself, “Why?”  When the Bible gives it that much ink, why are we not doing the same? 

- Is it possible we’re too comfortable with earthly life to focus on the next?
- Is it possible we’re too caught up in the here to be longing for the hereafter?
- Is it possible we’re not convinced of the pleasure of Heaven?

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV) I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.

I will not long for snow, but I’m working on longing for the return of the One Who loves me most.

How about you?

Boldly, Herb

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