Friday, August 12, 2011

A surprise arrival to be waiting for

How much time do you spend getting ready for a guest? Oh, we clean for days before they arrive. We make sure they have everything that will make them feel right at home. We take time and prepare. Sometimes we even pick them up from the airport. We make arrangements to do special things with them when they arrive. Oh, we are so hospitable to those we love, aren't we?

"God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:9-10

We have a party and we sit down with our pen and paper in hand pondering who to invite. We search our brains until they are on overload for the guests we want in attendance. We send out little cards with RSVP included. We want to know if they are coming. You know and if they aren't we are sometimes upset that they are not there. What could be more important?

"Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." John 14:6

We roll out the welcome mat and make our favorite dinners and clean above and beyond our usual duties. We know they are coming. We sit and watch out the window eager to see their face. We are anxious for a visit we have been waiting on for years. Sometimes we make it a weekend escape. Every Saturday we may get together with our favorite person just to spend a little time with them.

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. There is more than enough room in my Father's home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going." John 14:1-4

We know the Lord is coming. He is preparing a home for us right now. So, don't you worry about those markets and housing prices. He will take care of all that. He is preparing a mansion of all mansions just for your arrival. He has been taking His time making sure everything is just right for you. He is preparing for a long stay, not just a weekend visit. He is rolling out the red carpet just for you! He is so excited to see you. He has sent out RSVP's and He is still waiting for replies. Some are slow in replying, so He is giving extra time so no one misses out. He asks us to invite all we know, even those we don't. His house is big enough for all of us and oh, the food on the table awaiting us! As a friend says, "He took six days to complete this world and all that is in it. He has been preparing your home for over 2,000 years." (Love that, Darin) You just gotta know the excitement in that!

"For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

We know He is coming, but are we ready? Are we excited beyond all emotion? Do we wake in wonder, "Lord, will it be today?" Are we walking throughout our day focused on His arrival? What are we doing to prepare? Have we invited everyone we know for His return? Just where is our hospitality for our Lord and Savior?

"So you, too, must keep watch! For you don't know what day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42

I must tell you I have been pondering these thoughts. How much of my day is spent on me and how much am I truly giving to Him? I think I just might be more concerned with where I am going most days than when He will return. Sure, we don't know the exact time. We don't even know the date, but one thing we do know. We are to be waiting. We are to be looking for Him. I can tell you when I walk Daisy at night I look up into the night sky and wonder, "Is it tonight, Lord?" But even in that pondering heart of mine I know I have not invited enough people for His return.

"So we are Christ's ambassadors, God is making His appeal through us." 2 Corinthians 5:20

Think about it. We wait for the latest styles to come out for fall. We stand in line for the return of our favorite movie. We search for the best sales. We get tickets in advance for those sports events that make us stand up and shout. The thing is, we call all our friends and tell them about the goings on that are exciting to know about. Picture that big shopping mall or the huge stadium we will gather at with screams and shouts. How many do you think are awaiting His return? How many will be standing and shouting praises to His name on the day of His arrival? Our Lord is humble, but shouldn't we make Him feel like the King He is?

"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon." Philippians 4:4-5

We get so excited about the small stuff in life. Sure, it doesn't take much to excite this girl, but shouldn't I be completely overflowing with joy and excitement at the return of my Savior? To be caught up with all those who believe should be a thought that is always on our mind. Not somewhere on the back burner after our lists our complete, but on the forefront of every thought.

"Since you have been raised to life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God's right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth." Colossians 3:1-2

Do you ever wonder about what you will be doing when He calls us home? He tells us He will come in the blink of an eye. What happens when someone knocks on our door at night while we are sleeping? We aren't too happy they have interrupted us. Shouldn't we be excited for the Lord to interrupt our lives? Might we be preparing for the greatest gathering of our time. This will be the one reunion you won't want to miss out on. Get to inviting and lets get those praises ready!

"All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, god loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son." Ephesians 1:3-6
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