It finally arrived. A family member decided several weeks ago that he wanted to buy us a brand new laptop. He called us from up north and had us go to Best Buy, find a computer we liked, and send him the model numbers. So, we found a Gateway with 4 GB of RAM, a 500 gig hard drive, wireless card and a whole lot more. Well, he got the computer, and UPSd it to us. We got home yesterday to find a delivery attempt tag on our door, so I called to arrange a pickup from UPS on Tuesday night. After arranging the pickup, my wife was giddy. She practically danced around the house in anticipation of the laptop. It was humorous to watch. When it was time, I got the package, and I took it home. Just as she had been before I left, my lovely wife came skipping in excitement to the door, not because she was thrilled to see me. I didn't get even a little peck on the cheek. She snatched the package from my hand and had it opened before I got my shoes off!
While the computer is a great gift, and will be put to good use, the bigger lesson I think I got from what happened yesterday came through my wife. She waited in anxious expectation for what was coming. She couldn't wait for it to come, and looked for it almost daily. Friends, that is kind of how we should be in waiting for our Lord, who we have already been told is coming. Just before He was crucified, Jesus spoke to His followers and said, "I am going away to prepare a place for you. And guess what? If I am going to prepare a place for you, I'm coming back to get you!" (See John 14:2-3) After the Lord had risen and ascended into heaven, some angels appeared to the disciples, who just stood there, undoubtedly with mouths ajar, staring at Jesus as He was taken up before their very eyes. "Why do you stand here gazing into heaven? This same Jesus who was taken from you will in the same way come back." (Acts 1) The Bible teaches us that time is short, and that not only is the Lord coming back to reign on the earth, but He is first going to round up his people. That means me and you. Paul told the believers in the city of Thessalonica this:
"According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 1For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thess. 4:15-18 NIV)
Still, Paul taught us further that our Lord's coming will be "in a flash-in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor. 15:52 NIV). I've seen fast things in my time thus far. I've been to Indy races with cars racing of 220 MPH, as well as NASCAR races of nearly 200. I've watched the speed of hockey players with awe. I've fired a shotgun with amazement at just how fast that bullet travels. But that is a snail's pace compared to the Lord rupturing us out of this old planet. That is less than a blink of my eye, and I'm not talking about an intentional blink. I mean the involuntary blinks that our eyes do without us even noticing.
The question is, while we may know theologically of His return, do we show it in all we do? Are we so anticipating the Lord that we are going about everywhere, telling those we see of it? Are we living each day like it could be the day Jesus returns for us? Sunday night, a preacher came by and spoke to us. He preached on this very topic that is a cornerstone of our faith, yet strangely lacking from our pulpits. He posed a question to us all that night. If we knew we had exactly one week before His coming for us, how would it change things? Would we take care to be about His business? Would we reach out to family who don't know Him? What if we had only 3 days? Certainly, we would get off our spiritual sofas and get busy for His Kingdom (I hope, anyway). The fact is, friends, we don't have a set time of return. It could be tomorrow night. It could be at 3 AM tomorrow morning. We may not even see the eleven o'clock news. The Lord could come any time.
Friends, I'm reminded of the parable Jesus told of the servants who each was given money from their master, who then told them, "Do business till I return". His words in that parable, I believe are His words to us. "Do my work, do my will, preach my Gospel to everyone you see! I am going to return!" It is a serious reminder to me to be about His business, so He finds me faithful upon His return. I pray that this little blog today sparks a hotter fire under you, too.