Tag: coming of the Lord
Scripture reading for December 16th: James 1-5
James was the half-brother of Jesus Christ. He was known to be the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and full of practical wisdom. One of his nicknames was “camel knees” because of time spent in prayer.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) Not many people like trials. But James says we should embrace trials with joy, because we know they develop perseverance. We need perseverance to grow and mature.
“Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he waits for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door.” (James 5:7-9) We need mature faith and patience because Jesus is coming. Farmers regularly wait upon God for the needed rains to grow and mature their crops. Grumbling is a sign of impatience. God will judge those who are impatient and fail to wait.
“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (James 5:10-11) James is always addressing the “brothers” in an encouraging way, appealing to their past knowledge and understanding as Jewish believers. They were familiar with the prophets and their suffering–especially Job, the oldest book of the Bible. Job suffered patiently and God restored him completely at the end of his trial.
“Is anyone in trouble? He should pray.” (James 5:13a) James ends his letter with an encouragement to pray when in trials or trouble. Prayer helps us to persevere and develops patience. Elijah of old prayed and waited on God. God answered him. He will answer us today as well! We must persevere and watch and pray! Jesus is coming! The rains mean harvest! The trials mean more maturity and joy!
Scripture reading for December 5th: 2nd Thessalonians 1-3
Because of Christ’s love He has warned the Church about one man who will come that will be known for terrible evil and lawlessness. This person will be called the ‘man of lawlessness’. We should know about him to motivate us to tell as many people as possible about the Lord and warn others.
“Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3)
The coming of Jesus Christ will happen suddenly. (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3) According to Paul, this day will not come until this lawless man is revealed. Some in Paul’s day were saying that the day of the Lord had already come. He wrote this to address the concern that some had missed the rapture. We are still watching for this to happen today.
Paul goes on to describe the man of lawlessness as one who will opposes truth and set himself up as god. He will do this through Satan by counterfeit signs and wonders. (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10) These signs will deceive people who have refused to know and love truth. They will be deluded and go to their destruction. (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)
We have a choice each day to read and believe God and His word. If we reject the truth, we have nothing left but a lie. Lies may sound good, but they lead to destruction. God chose us to be saved by the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief of the truth. This is all a gift of God’s grace. Because of this grace will will share in the Lord’s glory when He comes.
Take time today to share Jesus Christ with someone who does not know Him. Ask them if you can share this passage about the coming man of lawlessness. Let the Holy Spirit lead both of you to discover truth and to love it!