Drawing Near to the Lord

"No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me" (John 6:44-45)

Location: Charlotttesville, Virginia, United States

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Are You Eagerly Waiting for the Savior?

By Mark Larson

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself” (Phil. 3:20-21, NASB). Eagerly, the Christian waits for the arrival of the Savior. This means there is a strong desire, an enthusiastic expectation, and an intense interest in His return. Does this describe you? Do you eagerly wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Our First and Foremost Thought

What are the first thoughts we have when we wake up in the morning each day? Typically, our minds may go directly to such questions as: I think I’ll take a bath. What’s for breakfast? Where’s my coffee? What should I wear? Preparations for the day, may involve locating our book bag, briefcase, or backpack or making sure we have school lunches, homework, reports, or our computer laptop ready to go. Days when there is no work or school, our first thought may be: “What shall I do today?”

In contrast, when is the last time you woke up with an eager anticipation for the Lord’s return? While it may sound radical, fanatical, or extreme, have you ever woken up in the morning to look out the window, not to see what the weather is like, but to look for the Lord’s return? “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thes. 4:16-18).

The coming of Christ was not an occasional thought of concern to many of the Christians of the first century, it was primary! Indeed, the arrival of Christ is a real event to anticipate, on our hearts each day. As the above passage teaches, the coming of Christ is an event not only to believe in, but to think about deeply, imagine, contemplate, and talk about regularly.

Everyday Could Be The Day!

"Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour” (Mat. 25:13). When we come to fully recognize this truth, that the Lord could return at any hour, on any day, we will remain constantly watchful. For the children of God, the Lord’s coming is not to be viewed as a remote possibility far off in the distant future. To Christians, everyday has great potential for being “The Day of the Lord”!

There are no warning signs that will tip us off when Jesus will arrive. “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night” (1 Thes. 5:2). Thus, readiness is demanded everyday of our lives (Luke 12:35-40). Certainly, to remain in “a state of readiness” we must continually live faithful, obedient lives for God (2 Pet. 3:8-14). Yet, there is also the exhortation by our Lord to literally watch for His coming. “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming — in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning — lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:35-37, NKJV).

We Are Eager for His Return Because We Love Him.

How is it possible to be constantly watchful for His return, to have such a strong desire in our hearts for His coming? When we learn to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27), we will watch for Him! If the Lord is truly our first and greatest love in life, we will absolutely long for His return. Just as a wife longs for her husband to return from the war safely or when parents long for the return of their child who is lost, there is a heartfelt yearning for the Savior to return that the Christian has. Genuine love for the Lord will produce a desire for His return that is intense, strong, and powerful as well as a life that is zealously dedicated to obeying Him (John 14:15). We look forward to the day when we will finally see His face! “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up 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 loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8, NASB).

Are You Eager for His Return?

If you are not eager for His return, chances are, something is terribly wrong in your life that needs correction. Prayer may be lacking, your heart may be nearly void of Scripture, sin, worldliness, and materialism may be taking your focus off the Lord, or your priorities in daily living may be ridiculously out of order. Whatever it is, your life as a Christian must be redirected toward the coming of Christ again. If our hope is truly fixed on Christ, we will purify ourselves by putting away all our sins and seek God’s forgiveness (1 John 3:3; 1:9).

Eagerness for His arrival will mean we look forward to His return, not fear or dread it. For the person who is right with God, he or she will want, with all their heart, their Savior to come again. Christians look forward to His return and it show by the lives they live for the Lord. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).


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