Thursday, February 1, 2024

           I recently received an email offering me one man’s perspective or outlook on the economy for the next year.  He promised to offer exclusive insights on politics, buying habits, interest rates and the best places to get the best returns on invested money.  Someone has said that opinions are like noses—everybody has one.  And there is no guarantee that one person’s outlook on the economy is any more accurate than anyone else’s.  In his own words, Peter offered some guidance on how we can look forward in life and serve the Lord.  Specifically, he offered some perspective on how God’s people are to await His return and how to live in anticipation of that reality.  Such guidance is invaluable to us.  The Lord’s return could be at any time and we certainly want to ensure that we are both living and waiting in a worthy way.  He wrote, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him” (2 Peter 3:15-16). 
            First, Peter encourages us to look forward to the Lord’s return.  Why would we not want the Lord to come for His people?  Why would we not want to enjoy the Father’s house that Jesus spoke about in John 14?  It is a joy to know that the Lord is coming again and that He has the blessings of eternity with Him to give us.  Wow!  Paul reminds us just how amazing eternity is.  He wrote, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived of what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9).  If we know Christ, we can live in a holy anticipation of His coming for us so we can be with Him forever.
            Second, Peter tells us how to prepare for the Lord’s coming.  I imagine if you knew that you had guests coming that you would prepare your home.  You might clean, prepare some food in advance and make your home as inviting as possible.  How much more should we prepare for the certainty of Christ’s return.  And, thankfully, Peter tells us how to prepare.  He wrote, “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.”  The idea is to be free of sin and the things that can separate us from the Lord.  Do not allow things to crop up that could come between you and the Lord and hinder your walk with Him.  Be quick to confess sin.  Be quick to recognize temptation.  Be quick to discern where the enemy might be lurking or working to sideline you.  We want to guard our character so that it looks like Christ—spotless and blameless.  Be diligent about your faith and growing in Christ.
            Third, Peter said that the Lord is patient at this moment to give us time to prepare for His coming.  At some time, that patience will end.  And the Lord will come.  But graciously, God has given us these days and times to prepare for His coming.  The Lord is not lazy, slack or unwilling to keep His promises.  He is lovingly and compassionately giving us occasions and time to respond to Him in faith, trust and surrender.
            Fourth, during this time of God’s patience, we have the chance to share the gospel with others so our friends and family will share eternity with us.  We want to do all that we can to share the good news of Christ and everlasting life with Him.  A simple invitation to someone could mean the difference in where he or she will spend eternity.  A prayer offered for someone could open the doorway for urgent and life-changing conversations to take place.  We can work while we have this moment so that others can know the Lord too.  Remember what Jesus said, “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).  Now is the day of serving and declaring the Lord’s glory.
            David Jeremiah has noted that “God’s commandment is God’s enablement.”  God enables and strengthens us to do what He commands.  Not only does God call us to be obedient but He gives us the power to live obediently—to do what He directs us to do.  God faithfully equips and empowers those He calls.  We look up, in a sense, as we await the Lord’s return.  But we also look around at what God has for us to do and where God has for us to work.  Life is about Him—always about Him.  Anything we do is simply an occasion to serve Him and bring glory to Him.  Join us for worship and Bible study on Sunday.  Join us for Sunday Night Life at 5:00pm.  And remember you can always share our worship with others at 

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