The Return

Mark 13:24-37

 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

In this season, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, we are reminded that He is coming again. One of the churches I used to attend focused a lot on His second coming. In fact, we heard so much about it that we expected Him to come any day. Living life as though Jesus may come at any moment can be good and bad. As in any doctrine, balance is important. In other words, if you take the expectation of the imminent return of Jesus to the extreme, you may spend irresponsibly. Or, you may not make any long-term plans like going to college, or saving for retirement. Since Christians have lived with this expectation for thousands of years, it is not wise to live like there is no tomorrow.

The main idea here is that we are to live our lives in a holy manner, as ambassadors for Christ, Holy and pure; so, when God shows up, He will not be disappointed in what we are doing at that moment. Though there are signs of the end times, we do not know the day or the hour of the second coming of Jesus. It will be unexpected and swift. So, may we always remember to live every moment as ambassadors for Christ; with love, purity and holiness.

Don

Reference: New Revised Standard Version of The Holy Bible. New York: Oxford Unity Press, 1989.

Photo Credit: Flickr via Creative Commons

Free

Romans 6:22-23 (NLT) “But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This week we celebrate our freedom and give thanks for those who fought so bravely to secure it. Our freedom was bought at great price and our response should be to live our lives with gratefulness and honor.

In the same way, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins with His blood so we may live forever. Along with that payment comes our responsibility to live our lives with holiness. Though we have been made free, we have made ourselves slaves of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Thankfulness drives us. Gratefulness revives us. Freedom enslaves us to do what is right because that is what we want to do and how we want to live.

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/en/chain-broken-link-freedom-297842/