One of the greatest and most precious promise in the Word of God is th certainty go the return of the Lord Jesus for His church. Christians are expected to live a different kind of life than that of the unbeliever. Col. 3:1-2 tells us that we are to set our minds on the things that are above; that is on things that have a Heavenly perspective.
How should we live and conduct ourselves in the here and now as we wait for Jesus’ return? Every generation of Christians from the first century has had the promise of His coming. Believing that He could come at any time should motivate us to greater service to Jesus and His church.
How should we be living in anticipation of the return of the Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13)? We must be found not only waiting and looking forward to His coming but must be active and faithful in our service to Him. Paul gave us a wonderful motivation for righteous living–believers are waiting for a hope that is already a certainty. We can look forward to Christ’s return with eager expectation. We must adhere to the words of a popular song: “We’ll work til Jesus come.”
By utilizing the term“Blessed Hope,” Paul brings out at least 2 aspects of Christian living that should be stressed today.
Waiting with anticipation and hoping for Christ’s glorious appearing. The waiting is good for us: it builds character, endurance, and perseverance. The hoping makes the waiting bearable.
C. S. Lewis wrote: “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think to the other world that they have become ineffective in this one. Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.”
Four words seem to characterize our earthly sojourn.
- Occupy. Use your talents for the Lord. I believe that every Christian has at least one talent that he or she can utilize to bring glory to God. There is room in the Kingdom for all Christians to develop and use their talents to further the work of the church.
- Purify. We must say “No!” to the world’s attractions. (1 John 2:15-17) we must practice mind renewal in a mindless society (Romans 12:1-2).
- Watch. This watching will include waiting and working. We must seek to be active in His service and not just occupy a pew. We must want to do all it takes to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Worship. Gathering around the Lord’s Table reminds us of both redemption and the return of the Lord Jesus.
Keep looking up! Jesus may come TODAY!
This year is Woodland Bible Camp’s 59th year. Since 1954, God has used WBC to introduce Christ to children and encourage them in their walk. Of course, WBC is not JUST for children. Even the most senior of citizens can become young at heart and enjoy the blessings of camp life.
As a WBC board member, one of the campers emailed me a question just the other day. She wanted to know if I could sum up the work of WBC in one verse. I looked at my wife and we both thought of the same verse. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart far from it.” Can we guarantee every child that has ever attended WBC has always remained faithful to the Lord? Unfortunately not. Can we guarantee that every child who has ever attended WBC has been exposed to the Word of God? Absolutely! It is that living Word of God that we confidently instill with the expectation that He will bring about amazing results for His kingdom.
If your church would like to hear more about what WBC is doing, how it can bless your church, and what plans are in store for this year and beyond, please contact me! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell phone number is (812) 987-6006. I’ve been blessed to speak on behalf of WBC for the last 3 years. I can share a multimedia presentation complete with videos or present a traditional sermon with just a short blurb about WBC. There is absolutely no fee expected, nor accepted, for the joy of sharing what He is doing through this special work.
The camp website is Woodlandbiblecamp.org.
Yes, WBC has embarked upon it’s 59th year and, should the Lord tarry, is rapidly approaching number 60. Come, be a part of what God is doing!
Should Christians be looking for the return of the Lord Jesus? Can we know when He will return for His Church? The answer to the first question is a resounding “yes.” On the second question posed, the Bile says that we cannot know the time He will return.
There have always been those in the history of the Church who have tried to pinpoint the time of the Lord’s return. Those who have done this have brought reproach and ridicule upon the Lord’s Church by their actions. There is one who has set a date of May 11, 2011. What is sad is that this same individual made a similar prediction a few years ago.
In light of the fact that we cannot know the timing, what should our attitude be in regards to the fact that He is coming again as He promised? The Bible is full of many promises of the return of Jesus for His own.
We have the testimony of the Lord Jesus Himself in John 14:1-4. In telling the Disciples of His upcoming death He gave them the promise that He would come back for them. At the Ascension we have the testimony of the holy angels. In Acts 1:11 they give the Eleven this great and comforting words: “why do you gaze up into the sky? This SAME Jesus who you see go up I to heaven will return in like manner.” This passage, along with the one in John and others in the New Testament tell us that Jesus Himself will keep His Word and come back personally for us.
All throughout the Epistles we have the teachings that Jesus is coming again. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 the Christians at Thessalonica and we today are told to “wait for His Son from Heaven.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul tells us that ‘the Lord HIMSELF” will come back for us! We have the same admonition in Titus 2:13 to. Be looking for the return of the Blessed Hope.
But while we are admonished to be a people who are always on the alert and looking for His coming, we must also be a people who are active in His service. We must be waiting and watching every day but also we must be a people who, because we are saved, are working for the Lord in His Kingdom. We must be thankful to have been called out of kingdom of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel.
Since we are now in the light of the Gospel we must be seeking to help the lost find their way into the light of the Gospel. We must also be found seeking to strengthen the saved.
Keep looking up! Jesus may come today! This attitude must translate into greater service. It must motivate us to love the lost more and concentrate our labors in that behalf
Today is Jan. 19th, 2013. 40 years ago today, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was putting the final touches on the Roe v. Wade decision. Their disregard for adhering to judicial precedent has resulted in the deaths of over 55 million babies.
I read on the PBS website, “Though by no means the Supreme Court’s most important decision, Roe v. Wade remains its most recognized.” I would disagree. A SCOTUS decision that has lead to 55 million United States citizens’ deaths HAS to be THE most important case.
A few facts:
- Each and every day in America, there are more babies aborted by their mothers than Americans killed on 9/11.
- Every single year, this silent horror kills about as many Americans as have been killed on all the battlefields in all of the wars in U.S. history combined.
- In 2012, their were about 15,000 murders in the US. There were about 1,100,000 abortions in the US.
- 41% of all New York pregnancies end in abortion.
- 52% of all African-American pregnancies end in abortion.
Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions each year. They also receive about half a billion dollars in US taxpayers’ money each year.
Please help the cause of the unborn. Ministers around the nation are being asked to advocate this Sunday for life. If your minister is not doing so, you can still ask for congregational prayer for the unborn about to be killed by their mothers. You can ask that those women who have killed their own children will repent and seek the Lord’s forgiveness.
Finally, may our nation respond to the challenge God puts before us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
-Jeff Adams, January 19, 2013
Have you been there? Perhaps a loved one has passed on. Perhaps you’re suffering because you’ve been a victim in the past. Perhaps you’re consumed by sadness, overwhelmed by a seemingly insurmountable task, or perhaps you just don’t know what your next step in life will be.
For me, a time of heartache came because of a rift in a relationship. Too many times our words precede rational thought and in the end, cause wounds that cannot be forgotten. James chapter 3 gives an analogy of the power our tongues can have, and admonishes us to take care that they be used for good. James 3:4-5: “Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.”
During this time in my life, I came across Psalm 34. For much of my life the Bible had been merely words on paper; good words, I would grant you, but when I read these words they jumped off the pages and became balm for my heart: “This poor man called and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles…The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:6,18). Those words came alive for me, both surprising and comforting me. God reached through the stitches of time in those ancient words to nurse my hurting soul. I began to read those verses over and over and soon discovered that the entire chapter was instructive, calming and full of praise for God and his mighty ways, both powerful and gentle.
The comfort these verses gave me reminds me of the conviction of Paul as he wrote in Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble, or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” May these words of hope bind themselves to your heart, and may you seek mercy and triumph, all to the praise of our Almighty God
-Rebecca Parr, January 19, 2013
The Apostle Paul, in Titus 2:11-14, tells his readers how to live in expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus! We are instructed in Tit 2:12to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.” We must say NO! to the attractions of the “world.”The hymn writer wrote: “The world all about me has now no allure. I’ll put Jesus first in my life. In all that I say, in all that I do, throughout the world of toil and strife, by day and by night, through trust in His might, I’ll put Jesus first in my life.”
All of Paul’s instructions in Tit 2:1-10 can be summed up in Tit 2:12. Believers must refuse any action that lacks reverence for God. Ungodliness means a lack of love or total disregard for God (Romans 1:18). We live in an age when many totally reject God’s influence in any area of their lives. Christians must renounce that attitude. Worldly passions are desires for the pleasures and activities of this world.
We are to always seek His Kingdom first! (Matthew 6:33).