LOOK FORWARD – 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 2 Peter 3:14 NKJV
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 NIV
What are you looking forward to? Is it a trip, life change, or upcoming event? Does the Lord’s return stir your spirit like these other things? This week we’ve talked about living with expectation of what’s to come and the importance of evangelism while we wait. Prayerfully you are stepping, reaching, and looking forward to that glorious day when we will see our Savior face to face! Prayerfully that hope has a great effect on your present days.
Our passage for today reminds us that the Lord will come “like a thief in the night” or “as labor pains on a pregnant woman.” We do not know when that will be. While those who do not know the Lord may be caught off guard, we as Christians should not be surprised. How do you want to be found when He returns? “Awake and sober,” living ready for the day, or asleep and distracted, not taking His promise seriously? Do you want to be found growing in the things of God, giving to the work of God, and going on mission for God? Or, do you want to be found giving all of your energy and efforts to things that will not last?
Are you living today with the Lord’s return in mind?
Paul urges us to be sober, to put on faith and love, to remember the hope of our salvation, and to encourage one another in these things. Think for a minute about the faith we read about in Hebrews 11, about the love we read that shows others we are Christians, and about the hope of our salvation coming to ultimate fruition, ultimate reconciliation. Examine your life. Are you living today with the Lord’s return in mind?
– Think about what you are looking forward to. Confess to the Lord if His return is not one of those things. Ask Him to help you be mindful that He may come at any moment. If you are looking forward to His coming, spend some time praising Him again for all that His coming will mean for you.
– Pray for our church family. Pray that we could be characterized as a body looking forward to the Lord’s return. Pray that we would encourage each other to put on hope, faith, and love daily. Pray specifically for the encouragement that is taking place in Connect Groups. Ask the Lord to raise up more leaders and more homes so that more groups can be started throughout Hampton Roads.
– Pray that the final days of Liberty Loves Hampton Roads would make a huge difference in our community. Pray that many would hear the good news of what all the Lord has in store for those who love Him.