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December 2018

I know Christmas will soon be here.  We will celebrate the birth of our Savior.  We will rejoice in the gift of God’s Son and the salvation that attends His coming.  May I ask you a question? Would you mind if our thoughts went in a different direction?  Oh, the focus will be on Jesus. What will the difference be? It’s this: Instead of a meditation on the Babe of Bethlehem, let’s lift up our hearts and minds to Jesus – our coming King!  And here’s scripture to get us started . . .

“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”

- Acts 1:11 (NLT)

You remember the story.  Jesus has just ascended into heaven.  The disciples are watching him go, straining their eyes for a final glimpse of the Lord.  Their gaze is interrupted by angels, who leave them with powerful prophetic words. Would you mind if I paraphrased what they said?  Hey, guys!  Stop standing around staring at the sky.  Get to work fulfilling that Great Commission, because Jesus is coming again!

Wow!  There’s no way we can dismiss this verse and say, “It’s just not relevant for us today.”  I know there will be some who focus on where is the promise of his coming (2 Peter 3:4).  Or in our language, “We’ve heard this all our lives and we’re still waiting!”  Consider this: If we focus on the “waiting,” we will end up disappointed and discouraged.  But, if we “read between the lines” and focus on the work – the Great Commission – the time will pass and our King will come!  Come to think of it, as we pray and work for God’s kingdom come, we are preparing the way for our coming King – Jesus!    

Are you up for a little “homework?”  The next time you have a hymnal in your hand (or Google it on your electronic device), look up an old hymn:  We’ll Work till Jesus Comes (#282 in the Nazarene hymnal – Sing to the Lord).  Its words will provide you with strength and encouragement as you patiently wait for the Lord’s return!

~ Pastor John


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