This past Sunday morning at the gathering of our church family, we spent time sitting at the feet of Jesus as he delivered his last discourse in the temple before his crucifixion (you can read the whole thing in Luke 21). For our time, we focused on the certainty of and encouragement that comes from Jesus' promised return:
"...everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27, NLT)."
As I meditated on the words of Jesus this past week, I was struck by how much joy I should derive in my life and circumstances from the promise that he is, in fact, coming again. It occurred to me that if this is true for me, it was very likely true for the disciples and the apostles. So I decided to take a look throughout the New Testament to see how often they may reflect on the second coming of Jesus. The results were remarkable: over and over and over again we hear them reminding each other, and us, of the return of our King.
Which has got me thinking that we should be thinking more of this. For, as Jesus said,
34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, 35 like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. 36 Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21:34–36)
In order to stand strong in serious joy, you must give careful consideration and deep reflection to the relevant texts. And I'd like to help in the smallest way, by providing one text each day this week for you to ponder. Let's begin with the author to the Hebrews:
19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:19-25, NLT)