Look Up, Look Ahead, Look Around
28 August 2015
Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4: Psalm 50
15 I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 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 and remain with him forever. 18 So comfort and encourage each other with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NLT)
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, “Father, 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 here’s what I’m doing about it! (I invite you to take a little time to do the same!)
• Today I’m looking up to my Father, Master, and Friend 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.