TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, May 03, 2018:
The act of anticipating; realization in advance; expectation or hope.
Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Today we want to share some thoughts on the anticipation of watching for the day and hour when the Lord will return to take us to be with Him. Throughout scripture we find three admonitions given to us about the Lord’s return.
First, we are to WATCH for His return. We do not know the day or hour of His return but Jesus gave these instructions in Luke 21:36, “Stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
Among Jesus last instructions to His disciples was that they were to keep a constant watch for His return. Paul instructed the Christians in Corinth to wait, pray, watch, and stand fast in the faith with courage and strength (I Corinthians 16:13). Paul further instructed believers to watch soberly, arming ourselves with faith, love and salvation (I Thessalonians 5:8).
Secondly, we are to WORK. The Lord does not take us to be immediately with Him after we are saved. We are not taken to Him because we have work to do here on this earth for Him.
God has called us to win souls by being the Lord’s witnesses and telling others of the love of God and the atoning death of Jesus Christ. So long as there remains one soul on this earth who hasn’t heard the good news of the gospel, we have work to do.
God’s purpose for our time here on earth is for us to grow spiritually, developing an ever-increasing intimacy with the Lord. We must work to become conformed to His likeness and our minds must be renewed (Romans 12:2). A renewed mind is one saturated with and controlled by the Word of God. That comes from studying God’s Word.
Believers want the Lord to come soon. Waiting is not easy. Impatience often leads to frustration and can cause a buildup of fear. The longer something anticipated does not happen, the greater our concern becomes. In Luke 2:14, when the angel announced Jesus coming to this world he spoke of peace to the earth. After He came to this earth the scriptures tell us over 400 times to not fear but enjoy the peace that only He can give. Isaiah (9:6) refers to Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Jesus said to His disciples, “Go in peace.”
We are to seek and find this peace while we wait for our Lord’s return. How will the Lord find you when He returns? Will you be among those that love Him? Will He find you doing what He commanded you? Will he find you eager to see Him? Will He find you ready for His appearing? Will your heart rejoice with exceedingly great joy when you see Him in the clouds? Will He find you awake and ready? Will He find you clothed in His forgiveness, His love, and His righteousness? We are told in Luke 12:40 that we must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him. That hour may be very soon.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Jeremiah 17:9.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
Help me to watch, work and wait with anticipation for that glorious day when You return in the clouds for all of us who know You as our Savior.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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