Monday, June 26, 2017
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Missy taught me about dogs. Missy was our Shih-tzu dog. Our son was given Missy when she was a puppy and he was in high school. And I was amazed at their relationship. When he came downstairs each morning, Missy came to life. Then, as soon as he left, she'd just kind of hunker down under this cabinet in the kitchen and kind of be bla-bla there all day long...until she heard that car pulling in the driveway late in the afternoon. I couldn't hear it pulling in, but Missy sure could! In an instant, she came alive! She shot out from under that cabinet and stationed herself at the back door with her tail in overdrive. When our son came through that door, Missy freaked out! Her whole day revolved around one big event-her master's return.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Living For His Arrival."
Our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Timothy 4:8: "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing." The KJV refers to all those "who love His appearing". Jesus has special things in store for His followers who love the prospect of His arrival, who will live for the prospect of their Master's return like a certain dog I know.
God's challenge is to revolve your life around your Master's coming. But unlike a certain dog I know, not to just retreat until He comes. In the previous verses, Paul describes how he lived in light of his Lord's return. It says he "fought the good fight", he "finished the race", he poured out his life. He showed that He was looking for his Lord by actively, aggressively putting the things of God, the work of God, the agenda of God first in his life. That way he could be, as John says, "confident and unashamed before Him at His coming." In other words, living in such a way that Jesus will be proud of you when He comes; in a way that you won't have to run and hide when He comes.
When our oldest son was 12, we were at a Christian conference center, and he and I were just coming out of a meeting where the speaker had talked a lot about the mess the world is in. He seemed kind of weighed down with what he had heard. I said, "Just remember-some day, maybe soon, Jesus is going to come back and make all that right." To which he replied, "I don't want Him to come back yet." I asked him why-and I've never forgotten his answer. He said, "I want to have more devotions first, Dad. I want to know Jesus better before I see Him."
That's a part of loving your Master's return-to learn to love your Master better before He returns. That's living to see Jesus. It means arranging your daily schedule so Jesus gets prime time. It's saying, "Jesus, I'm going to see You soon, and I'm going to start spending time with you right now."
Loving your Master's return also means living for things that will matter when He comes back. Like whether or not the people around you are ready to meet Him, like whether or not your money's going to be all tied up in earth-stuff or invested in heaven-stuff when He comes, like whether your schedule looks like one that realizes what will last and what will not.
Those who love their Master's return, those who live for their Master's return examine all their priorities in light of that glorious event. I personally, along with a whole lot of believers, have a feeling it's late in the day-maybe about the time your Master might be coming back.
I hope when He appears, you'll be able to run to the door excitedly-because you've been revolving your life around His coming all day long.