5 04 2016


I teach a weekly Bible Study at The Lighthouse Church from 2:30-3:30pm on Tuesday afternoon’s going verse by verse through the Book of Revelation. In the craziness of our days when the political climate of our Country resembles something close to a bad joke, I thought it was a good time to once again be reminded that there is never a time when God doesn’t still have it all in control. God has told us ahead of time that he will allow the free will of mankind to continue to make selfish choices. With every move of bad behavior also come the many consequences that result in a culture that has lost its moral compass! Still we Believers have graciously been given the blessed hope that when it is all said and done, those who trust in the Lord will overcome.

The times might have changed but truth still remains the same. And I shake my head when I think about those brave men and women of the Greatest Generation who fought so valiantly for America and for our Country’s freedom in World War II, if they could only see how far we have wandered off course in such a short period of time. I believe the more society tries to edit God from daily life, the closer we get to setting the stage for the things to come spelled out for all of us in the last book of the Bible.

When I first dedicated my heart to Jesus Christ back in April of 1975, I was immediately excited about the reality that our Lord would someday come back again. I was so new in the faith but every time I saw the clouds form a majestic masterpiece in the sky, I would wonder- is Jesus right behind them ready to burst on the scene again? I would sing the Gaither classic, “The King is Coming” almost daily. It has been 41 years since those times of raw innocence and intense passion, but this much I do know. We are a whole lot closer to the Second Coming today than we ere back then! I was ready then. Are you ready now?

Christians should never take the coming again of Jesus for granted or treat it as an afterthought. Early Believers would greet each other with the phrase, “Maranatha” which means he is coming! Even the Apostle Paul shared that for him to live is to be shining his light bright but to die would be so much better. As the old song says, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die!” I can assure you that if heaven called my name today, it wouldn’t have to do so twice! I love my wife, my children, my church and my life- but I love God and can’t wait to finally be rounding 3rd and heading across home plate for good! In my favorite sport of baseball, there is nothing worse than to be stranded at 3rd Base. A triple doesn’t get you safely home! My life means nothing to me if it doesn‘t finally conclude in the arms of my Savior! So I have my eyes on the prize until it is all said and done.

I heard a great story the other day that reminded me of how we need to be longing for the return of our Lord. It was told by the former President of Moody Bible College, Joe Stowell. He shared this illustration that was given to him by a friend of his named Bud Wood who founded Shepherds Home in Wisconsin for boys and girls with developmental disabilities. The original ministry opened its doors in 1964 to 36 children, providing them a loving residential environment and a school that would focus on their unique needs, helping them to reach their potential. Most importantly, this ministry started with a primary goal of sharing God’s love with the residents and encouraging them toward a personal and growing walk with Jesus. Many of those original residents, now adults, still reside at Shepherds. The home, now known as Shepherds Ministries, has grown to include vocational training and a variety of other ministries all clustered around that central passion for delivering and living out the gospel.

One day Bud asked, “Hey, Joe, do you know what our biggest maintenance problem at Shepherds is?” “I have no idea,” Joe replied. “It is dirty windows! Our kids constantly press their hands and faces against the windows because they’re looking to the sky to see if today might be the day that Jesus will return for them and take them to His home where they will be healed and complete.”

Isn’t that awesome? Talk about having your priorities in the right place. One of the hallmarks of a committed follower of Jesus is a longing for His return. That longing and expectation will change our priorities as well. It will make us think a whole lot less about how to live a happy little life and a whole lot more about using every day to bring honor and glory to God. It should shift our attention away from selfishness and the accumulation of earthbound possessions and point us toward investment in that which is eternally significant. It keeps us from getting overwhelmed by our anxieties and the weight of this life’s difficulties, reminding us each day that something better awaits us. No matter what has happened until this day, for Christians, the best is always yet to come. What window are you smudging today? The one from the Department Store or the one that gives us a glimpse of what awaits us on the other side of this journey?  You may have decorated your windows with earthly trimmings but have you gone to them recently to see if Jesus is coming back again for you? Go ahead, smudge up a window or two! Life will be wonderfully different if you keep your eyes to the sky!




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