Payh Blog
Dec 13, 2007

I Can't Think of One More Thing Right Now!

read-more-devotionals

Scriptural Basis:
“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Luke 12:40
Anderson’s Applications:
In the many centuries before the first Christmas, the prophets foretelling of the coming of the Messiah was often a blend of both His Nativity and His Second Coming (e.g. Malachi 3). Though these two world-defining events are vastly different in their effect, these Advent scriptures, if indeed we read them during the season, direct our thoughts to not just the Nativity, but to its grand sequel, our Lord’s return.
Together with the Cross, the Nativity is the quintessential expression of love and romance. No expression of human love or the wooing of man’s heart can ever duplicate the love or the manner of God’s communication of Himself in the Nativity and the Cross. The apostle Paul’s inspired expression of this very thought in Philippians 2:5-11 says it all. Choosing to be wedded to human flesh for eternity and giving His all on the Cross for our behalf is the highest expression and the very source of all love.
The Second Coming, however, is not something we may view with the same love, the same eagerness, or the same commitment of thought as the Nativity and the Cross. Is your thought life characterized by a “yearning for His appearing?” Do you actually want to “speed its coming,” as Peter encourages us in his second epistle (2 Peter 3:12)?
The Nativity took place in obscurity, though its story and the story of the Cross have become the best known stories in the world. But the Second Coming falls into a different category, partly because it has not yet happened, partly because we do not know when it will take place, and partly because we are not quite sure how it is all going to come off; all this despite the numerous descriptions and warnings of it in the Bible. C.S. Lewis writes in his essay “The World’s Last Night” of a modern embarrassment about the doctrine of the Second Coming for a number of reasons. There have been those who have predicted the very day and hour of its occurrence, which did not prove reliable, to theirs and others great embarrassment. They chose to ignore Jesus’ own words that no man, not even Himself, as the Son of Man, knew the day or the hour, only His Father in heaven. While few knew about or participated in the Nativity, and though a greater number actually witnessed the scene of the crucifixion, every person will be at the Second Coming. “Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), indicating that all the past population of the world, instantly restored, and all the living population at the time of His appearing, will be at this “closing curtain” on human history. It is hardly wise to ignore something in which your personal involvement is certain. Especially when there are irrevocable conclusions for your eternal future.
That in itself to anyone who admits even a quasi-acceptance of the truth of the Second Coming must evoke some level of fear. What will happen to me at the Second Coming, and what if tonight really is “the world’s last night?” “I’m getting married next week,” or “my baby for which I have waited so long is due next month,” or “the vacation for which I have saved for ten years begins soon,” or “I have so much more to accomplish in my plans,” all express the myriads of reasons which flood our mind as to why the Second Coming can’t come yet. Or it may be simply, “I am not ready because my spiritual status is still a huge question mark, and I do not know what the consequences will be for me in my present quandary.”
But fear, like any intense emotion, is never sustained for long periods of time in the human body. It is replaced with other activity and feelings: lethargy, busyness, other interjections. Fear may instigate a momentary change in your life toward a preparation for Christ’s return, but it will never sustain a life fully content with the thought “this may be the world’s last night.” Not only content, but eagerly anticipating it. This is the emotion which Scripture exhorts in us. If anything more can penetrate our thoughts in these next few weeks, this deserves a place. We may not have all the details, but we have enough!
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, I have alot to think about right now, but I can still think of this. Help me so live that I fulfill my calling and “speed” the return of my Lord and Savior.”


  • Share Link:
Payh Blog
Dec 13, 2007

Just the Other Day it was Y2K; and Now 2008 is Already Here!

Scriptural Basis:
“You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:8-9
Anderson’s Applications:
Time is relative depending on circumstances in your life. It can “fly by” and it can drag. I was not relishing the length of a car trip recently. Fortunately, I ended up on my cell phone for several hours with my wife, and “the time flew by.” Before I realized it I was home. You can multiply similar experiences exponentially in your own life.
When I, a history student, consider the years of human history from Adam and Eve to the present, in some ways I see a train slowly chugging up a long uphill grade and moving steadily, but at a fairly slow pace. There was time to take in a lot of the scenery and be involved in any number of tasks and not really miss much if anything. But somewhere around the beginning of the twentieth century that slow moving train of civilization reached the top of the grade and started down the other side. Having crested the top of the mountain the pace picked up dramatically. This train now seems to be hurtling down the hill gaining more and more speed at every moment. Now if you involve yourself in any one task you miss changes taking place in every direction. Before you complete a task there may be ten newer, better ways to do it. To get a sense of the speed in which our world is changing and moving take two minutes and view the following:http://www.newportharbor.us/shift.htm
The increasing speed of technology, multiplying information, world population growth should not make us frantic, or serve as a distraction from the tasks and calling at hand. Jesus says that we are blessed if when He comes He finds us at work with what He has called us to do; and doing it in a manner pleasing to Him. As George MacDonald wrote: “Obedience is the one key of life.”
I do not pretend to know the time of our Lord’s return. No one does, except the Father in heaven. Still our Lord chose to tell every reader of His Word, “Behold, I am coming soon.” I believe His message has personal meaning for everyone in every age since Jesus spoke this to John near the end of the first century. Whether or not the Lord’s return occurs in the next year, or ten years or more, the “soon” of Jesus’ words holds true meaning in the relativity of time for each one of us. We could be in His presence in the next instant, and depending on the “time of heaven” join Him as He returns in what we really will know as “soon.” I do not believe the Lord would have said it unless it holds real truth for us, and directs us in the way we should go, and how we ought to think.
He emphasizes over and over one primary warning: “Be ready.” Is what you are doing, and what you are today, able to stand the test of His verdict? Don’t give all your heart presently to something which will not “endure the day of His coming” (Malachi 3:2). C.S. Lewis reminds us that “the doctrine of the Second Coming has failed, so far as we are concerned, if it does not make us realize that at every moment of every year in our lives Donne’s question “What if this present were the world’s last night?” is equally relevant.”
Encouragement:
“Heavenly Father, may 2008 be a year in which I am about the work you called me to do, with the prayer, “even so come, Lord Jesus,” on my lips.”


  • Share Link:
Get Involved Background Image

Get Involved

This ministry has endured for almost 60 years because God has blessed us with faithful partners. Through friends like you, He ensures that we have the help we need to accomplish our mission. Click the button below to learn more, whether you’re interested in volunteering, making a one-time gift, or becoming a monthly contributor.