Lesson 8 -- second quarter 2004
April 25, 2004
© Copyright 2004, Christian Light Publications
Help them to be ready and to wait.
Jesus is coming. Be ready! The Lord shall return. Don't give up; hang in there! The coming of the Lord is an important reality which adds much weight to an important message: "Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18). As we humans measure time, it has been a long, long wait for us. As time passes by, it is easy for Christ's imminent return to seem less so. We more easily yield to carelessness, forgetfulness, and discouragement. So here you have that important message again: "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do" (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Both the world and the church have plenty of downcast, discouraged people who go around casting down and discouraging yet others. Refuse to be one of those! Encourage yourself in the Lord, then go -- encourage and build up those around you. (Did I say that already?)
Now that you have received, give. Now what you have been blessed, bless. Now that you have been encouraged, encourage. Now that you have been lifted up, lift up. Now that you have been comforted, comfort. The God of all comfort delights to comfort and encourage us "in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Our Lord is coming. Let us watch and be ready. Let us be sober and diligent. Let us hope and wait with great patience and anticipation. And let us encourage one another with these words: we shall overcome, the promise is sure, and the reward is absolutely certain.
If you don't do that, someone may well miss the Lord's return. It might even be you!
Waiting -- that is what we are doing. Waiting -- for the promised redemption. Waiting -- on the Lord to come back for His own. Waiting -- in expectation. Waiting -- as we have been commanded.
But what shall we do while we wait?
Almost two millennia ago, the followers of Jesus were told to wait for His return. They were also told to wait for power from on high. The power came and they took off. They busied themselves in the Lord's work while they waited for His return.
Could it be that in our age we might do too much waiting? Sure, we wait for the Second Coming, but maybe we also wait to do the Lord's business. At times it seems our transmissions are stuck in Park.
If the car is in the wrecking yard with no power train, then it doesn't matter if the gear selector points at P. It is understandable while it doesn't do what cars are supposed to do -- go from point A to point B carrying a load.
Christians shouldn't lie abandoned in life's wrecking yard! The Lord sent His Spirit to comfort and encourage us in our waiting for His return, and to empower us for Christian living and Kingdom work.
So I ask you: are you just waiting or are you busy waiting?
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