|"Christ the Redeemer" statue - Rio De Janeiro - Photo: Pixabay.com|
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Thessalonians 2:1-20
TO CHEW ON: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" 1 Thessalonians 2:19
In our read through 1 Thessalonians we're paying special attention to references of Christ's return. Paul's mention of Christ's return in chapter 2 occurs in verse 19 when he describes how he anticipates presenting the Christians in Thessalonica to Christ and how that will work out: "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?" - 1 Thessalonians 2:19. He looks forward to meeting Jesus with joy. His victory crown will be the believers he brings with him.
The Bible speaks in other places of meeting Jesus and being in His presence.
- There will be joy in His presence - Psalm 16:11.
- We will enter His presence on the "today" of our death - Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8 - or on the day He returns, whichever comes first - 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.
- Jesus' servants on earth will someday join Him in heaven where even the Father will honor them - John 12:26.
- Appearing before Jesus will be just the beginning of living with Him - John 14:3.
- When we appear before and live with Him, we will experience Jesus' and God's glory in all its eternity - John 17:25.
What motivation to serve God and in that serving win the crown of others standing with us at Christ's appearing on earth or our appearing before Him in heaven.
What a reason to live each day well, for none of us knows the day He will return or the day we will die.
What a hope for the future as we soldier on in the world of sometimes difficult relationships, unpredictable circumstances, and wearing out bodies.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for Your promise to return and accept me into heaven to live with You. May this hope motivate my living. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.