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If He Should Come Today
Anne Graham Lotz, the author of the devotional book I am using, chooses a theme, includes appropriate Scripture verses, and finishes up with a question to be answered.*
Recently one focused on the troubles we face in this life. Her question for the day? "If you knew Jesus would return this afternoon and deliver you from all trials, what difference would it make in your attitude?
I thought about it all day, and I still don't think I addressed the question exactly as she asked it. You could try it and see how you do. One thing for sure, a question like that really helps me put things into perspective.
First, I wrote: "My heart would rejoice because my hope (in Him) would soon be rewarded." His return is the essence of my faith.
Next I considered what I haven't done. "I would know that I have left things undone, but I am human after all. I have loved the Lord for 50 plus years and have served Him most usually cheerfully and with a whole heart. I would be glad I didn't face His return with dread and fear. I don't know if I will feel shame for my sins I certainly have them."
And then the bright light of truth illuminated my mind. "But if we have confessed them those failures , they are under the blood and the Godhead doesn't even remember them! What a wonderful truth! So my attitude would also include repentance with praise for hope fulfilled."
The fact is this: If I tend to my faith on a daily basis, I will be ready for that "glad day."
And how do I see myself doing that?
• By giving every day to the Lord so that I am in tune with what I need to do that day.
• By having a thankful heart for his goodness, in spite of the trials of life. Often they are the things that bring me to my knees, and I rise with greater strength or more insight into life than I had before.
• By looking at my life each day and asking for forgiveness of my sins. I heard a sermon recently, which discussed what God cannot do. What stuck home with me was that God can never stop loving me, no matter what I do because to love is His nature.** When I have admitted my sins to Him and have asked Him to forgive me, He not only answers my prayer; He turns His back on the memory of what I have done!***
Psalm 103 says this:
"God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he's rich in love.
"He doesn't endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever.
"He doesn't treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
"As high as the heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him (hold him in awe).
"And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.
"As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him.
"He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we are made of mud (dust)."****
What a picture of a compassionate God!
Living this way, I am not only prepared for this day, I am also ready for the return of the Lord.
* Lotz, Anne Graham. Daily Light Journal: Morning Readings. Nashville: J Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, 1999.
** Charles Stanley's "In Touch" message, "Understanding God," March 19, 2000.
*** Hebrews 8:12
****Psalm 103:8-14, The Message:, by Eugene H. Peterson
For Further Consideration:
I Corinthians 3:9-17
I Corinthians 15:5158
II Peter 3:1-14
Is It the Crowning Say?
Jesus may come today, Glad day, Glad day!
And I would see my friend;
Dangers and trials would end
If Jesus would come today.
Glad day. Glad day! Is it the crowning day?
I'll live for today, nor anxious be;
Jesus, my Lord, I soon shall see.
Glad day, Glad day! Is it the crowning day?
I may go home today, Glad day, Glad day!
Seemeth I hear their song;
Hail to the radiant throng
If I should go home today.
Why should I anxious be? Glad day, Glad day!
Lights appear on the shore,
Storms will affright never more,
For he is "at hand" today.
Faithful I'll be today, Glad day, Glad day!
And I will freely tell
Why I should love Him so well,
For He is my all today.
Words by George Walker Whitcomb
Music by Charles H. March