The following devotion comes from my email subscription to

Connection! Devotions for Every Day Life“.

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Are You Longing For His Return?

Posted: 04 Jun 2011 12:00 AM PDT

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” (2 Peter 3:10–14)

The passage says, “…as you look forward to the day of God.” Are you looking forward to the return of Jesus? I think a lot of Christians are afraid to say no to that question. They instinctively know that the answer should be “yes, of course I’m looking forward to His return.” But in our heart of hearts is that really so? Are we longing for His return?

If we are not looking forward to the Lord’s return, we will not be serious about prayer that prepares us for that great event. We will never make the effort to give ourselves to the awesome issues of intercession that can usher in His appearance again on planet Earth if we are not looking forward to it. We must move into a place of eager anticipation and expectation.

–Taken from Prayer and the End of Days (Praying God’s Purposes in Troubled Times) by David Butts. (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).

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This devotional raises some good questions?  Are we really ready for the return of Jesus to earth?  I feel similar to the author here, that I’m afraid that even Christians might not be ready for that day.  I’ve been in conversations with other believers and talked about Christ’s return, and jokingly they have responded by saying things like, “But I want to get married first!” or “Oh, I’ll never see my grandchildren.” or even “But I want to see the world first, like go to Tahiti or Fiji or…”

Now I think that these people, when they stop to think about it, will see just how ludicrous it is to want to experience what they deem to be a “great event”, when the greatest event of all of Time itself will be the return of Jesus.  When Jesus comes back, true justice will be established; pain, sorrow and suffering will never be experienced by those who are followers of Jesus; and we will have all of eternity to enjoy every possible experience that we want to pursue, and many more that we have never even thought of yet.

But the greatest joy of all will be to see Jesus face to face, and to be able to come into the very presence of God.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”  It is truly beyond words to express the completeness, the wholeness, the pure joy it will be, to be there with the God of the Universe, and to hear Him call us by name and tell us how much He loves us.

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In a recent article, I examined Matthew 24:14 and spoke about how our mission work of translating God’s Word into the languages of the world could very well be a key instrument in bringing about the return of Christ.  I really do believe this to be the case, and that is why I am so committed to being involved in the Bible translation ministry.

But whether our work will speed up Jesus’ return, or is independent of that great event, I want to always be prepared in my heart to meet my Lord.  And whether I die while I am engaged in doing this translation ministry, or if He should return before I die, I want Him to see me hard at work at expanding His Kingdom here on earth.  As cowboys used to say, “I want to die with my boots on.”

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There are two more verses that motivate me to be working hard for the Lord.  How wonderful it would be if Jesus came back while I am doing his work and to be told, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)  And then in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, it talks about those who have done nothing with their lives for the Lord and those who have served Him well.

It says the work of the former is like wood, hay or straw, while the latter person’s work will be like gold, silver and jewels.  So not only is it a joy to be serving the Lord, but we are given the promise of a heavenly reward when we offer our lives in service to Him while we are living here.  So what will your choice be?  Why not serve Him well now, and work towards His coming back, and be rewarded in eternity for your faithfulness.  That’s what I plan to do with my life.  And so can you.

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