Philippians 4:5 – The Lord is at hand.
We all know that Jesus has promised to return. In John 14:3 Jesus told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them, and someday he would come again to receive them unto himself so that they would be with him forever. This hope has encouraged and strengthened believers throughout the entire history of the church, allowing them to endure horrible persecution and injustice, secure in the knowledge that they were just pilgrims on a journey toward a heavenly home.
And what a contrast between those who seek an eternal home and those who are focused only on this world and this life! Richard Lenski compares these two perspectives in light of Philippians 4:
“…we who live in constant expectation of [Christ’s return], of our resurrection, of our glorification, we, filled with abounding joy, cannot but show this noble gentleness, this generous yielding to all men. Those who live for time alone, for this life alone, who ever mind only earthly things, they will act meanly, selfishly, rigorously, or with false, hollow gaiety…”
Jesus told his disciples to continually be prepared for his return. He said that the way we prepare is to “watch and pray,” so that we would not be tempted to focus only the here and now. He knew that many centuries would pass with no sign of his coming, and it would become easy for his followers to think that their lives on earth were all-important, even to doubt that he would keep his promise. But such thinking leads only to selfishness and ungodly excess, whereas we ought to be delighting in the Lord, living with grace toward all men.
Do you believe that Jesus’ coming is truly “at hand”? Ask the Lord to help you live in such a way that you are prepared if he should come today.
Scriptures to read: Matthew 24:45-51; Titus 2:11-14