May 12, 2022
How To Wait For Jesus’ Return
“And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay” (Revelation 10:5-6 ESV).
Friend to Friend
We dreaded this moment every year.
As summer ended, my husband, Luke, packed his bag to leave for NFL training camp. After a decade of doing this year after year, I still teared up as I walked him to his truck and gave him one last kiss good-bye.
On the calendar we penciled in the day we expected training camp to end, usually with several exclamation points included! But ultimately, we knew the coach would make the final call. If he wanted to break camp early, he would. If he wanted to keep the team a few days longer, he would.
As we longed for Luke’s return, the kids and I kept ourselves busy. If we stayed productive, it eased the ache of our hearts and gave purpose to the days in front of us. In fact, Luke’s absence often pushed me to do more – because I represented my husband. He trusted me, so I made sure I held to the standard set by his presence. As we waited for him to return, the kids and I talked about Luke often, and we talked to him as much as possible. We couldn’t wait to get him home.
In Today’s Truth we’ve arrived at the moment in the book of Revelation that announced no more delay, “And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,” (Revelation 10:5-6 ESV). This statement ushers in the final events that will culminate with the exciting promises that come at the end of Revelation 21 — God's dwelling place with man, no more tears, no more death or pain or mourning.
These are the things that we look forward to while we are here on Earth. The problem, though, is that while Today’s Truth tells of this announcement in Revelation, on Earth wherever we are, reading this devotion, we're still waiting.
During His time on Earth, Jesus talked about times of delay. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told two parables back to back that have to do with delay. Let’s look to God’s Word to find out what to do and what not to do while we wait on Jesus’ return.
We don't want to become weary in doing good. Matthew 24:45-51 tells about a servant who has been put in charge of his master’s household. Over time, the master was delayed and the servant moved from doing what his master had told him to do, to acting wickedly. He moved from obeying and seeking to please his master, to indulging his own desires and seeking to please himself. The delay of the master caused the servant to grow weary in doing good.
We don't want to be unprepared and unable to finish the race. In the parable that begins Matthew 25, Jesus tells about 10 virgins who took lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. When they came out to meet the bridegroom, the women were excited, but as the bridegroom was delayed, some of the virgins ran out of oil for their lamps and became unprepared.
We do want to stay awake. Twice Jesus talked about staying awake or keeping watch. (Matthew 24:42, Matthew 25:13) These words imply the idea of giving careful attention to something and remaining active because of it.
We do want to live by faith. As we wait for Jesus’ return, let’s talk to Him and talk about Him. Let’s busy ourselves working for Him, and hold tight to His standard; so when Jesus does return He sees a glimpse of His image and His heart in our lives.
How can you be active as you wait on Jesus' return?
Dear God, As I look forward to the joys of Heaven, help me live by faith today. Wake me up to the places where I’ve grown weary or unprepared. Turn my attention away from what is seen, so that I may fix my eyes on what is unseen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How will you stay awake as you anticipate Jesus' return?
Think about situations you find yourself in when you are waiting. Whether we’re sitting in a waiting room or an after-school pick up line, we typically find ways to stay busy while we wait. As we wait on Jesus' return, instead of busying ourselves with things that are seen or indulging the flesh, how can we busy ourselves anticipating Jesus' return and fixing our eyes on what is unseen? (2 Corinthians 4:18)
More from the Girlfriends
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