Look Up, Look Ahead, Look Around

Look Up, Look Ahead, Look Around

29 November 2011

Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3


16 For 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NIV)

Paul’s letters are often so personal, so practical, and so profound – all at once. Writing to the young church at Thessalonica, a church that was experiencing more than its share of persecution and trouble, Paul assured them of his personal love for them, he reminded them that eternity is just around the corner, and he gave them a very practical list of things to do while waiting for Jesus to come back.

This morning I said, “Lord, what’s your message for me today?” It seems that what he is saying to me is. “When things are challenging, don’t give up, look up. When things don’t happen as quickly as you expected them to, don’t get lazy and lose focus, look ahead. And when you begin wondering if this is really it, if this is what I’ve called you to do with your life, if what you are doing really matters, look around.”

So today I’m looking up to my Father, Friend, and Master for the hopeful encouragement his Word and his Spirit bring. I’m looking ahead to the possibilities before me and the promise of eternity. And I’m looking around at my family, my friends—the riches of relationships and the satisfaction of serving others. And it’s good!


Father, Thanks for including me in your plan. It means a lot to me to know that you have a place of service for me, a word of encouragement when I need it, and a place prepared for me for all eternity. Today I purpose to look up, to look ahead, and to look around. And to do the work and live the life with renewed enthusiasm. Thanks.

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