For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.Titus 2:11–13
Intro to this Advent Issue
When we expect some very important event to happen, we often wait for it with excited anticipation. The Lord Jesus expects us to watch in great anticipation for the most important event of all – his return in glory at the end of this present age! The Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of the Lord when he shall judge between the nations and decide for many peoples (Isaiah 2:5).
The Advent season reminds us that we are living in the end times. The end times begin with the first coming of Christ (when the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us – John 1:14) and it culminates in Christ’s second coming on the Day of Judgment and Vindication for his people. Jesus spoke of his return in glory at the close of the ages as an indisputable fact and predetermined act which he will perform as the Judge and Ruler of all peoples, nations, and individuals who ever lived on the earth.
“May your kingdom come!”
While the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is for certain, the time of his appearance is not yet disclosed. The Lord’s day of visitation and judgment will come swiftly and unexpectedly. Jesus warns his listeners to not be caught off guard when that day arrives. It will surely come in God’s good time! The Lord invites us to pray for the coming of his kingdom into our present lives and future as well. Jesus taught his disciples to pray – “may your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Do you earnestly pray for the coming of God’s kingdom – both now and at the end of the world?
The Lord will reward those who wait for him
The prophet Isaiah tells us that God will surely reward those who wait for his visitation: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who works for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4). Our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, has entrusted us with his gifts and graces (his abundant favors and blessings). He expects us to make good use of the gifts and resources he gives us for his glory and for the benefit of helping and blessing others as well. He does not want us to use the present time we have here on earth in idleness or wasted living. He has work for us to do – loving, honoring, and serving him and loving, honoring, and serving our families, neighbors, and communities as well.
How do we watch and wait for the Lord’s coming?
How does the Lord want us to be watchful and vigilant for his return? The kind of watching the Lord has in mind is not a passive “wait and see what happens” approach to life. The Lord urges us to vigilance and to active prayer that his “kingdom may come” and his “will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. We are not only to watch for Christ, but to watch with Christ. The Lord wants us to have our hearts and minds fixed on him and his word. He wants us to be ready for his action and work of grace in our lives and in our world. Those who “wait” for the Lord will not be disappointed. He will surely come with his grace and saving help.
Sincerely in Christ,
Top image credit: Photo of beautiful glowing sunset landscape, from Bigstock.com, © by jenyateua, stock photo ID: 226901230. Used with permission.