Devotional Thoughts for Today
James 5.7-9 (NASB)
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. 8 You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. 9 Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.
One Friday night when I was praying at church, I received a picture of what looked like a banquet hall during the times of Jesus. You could hear the clattering of plates as all these people were running around, getting the tables set. There was an urgency to their preparation. I was quickly reminded of the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matthew 22:1-14). One of the key details of that parable is when the king notices a man amongst the guests who did not have the right wedding garments, that man is immediately thrown out of the banquet to a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. This is to foreshadow what it will be like when Jesus returns. Those who have the right garments will be welcomed into the wedding banquet.
The reason why I share this is because of the conviction the Lord placed upon my heart through this vision. When I asked for understanding, God’s responded, “The preparation for the banquet has started. What are you doing to help others to find their wedding garments?”
As those who profess Jesus as Lord and Savior, what is included in this confession is the belief that Christ will come back. It is on that day where all things will be made new, death will be no more, and God’s people will be eternally in His presence (Revelation 21). There will be a great wedding banquet. No one knows when this will happen, only the Father. But as we see how quickly things are changing in the world, you can sense that it’s not too far off.
In my heart, I have assurance of salvation; I believe that because of Christ, my wedding garments are ready. But what am I doing to help others prepare?
James in today’s passage exhorts the church to patiently wait for the coming of the Lord. Just as the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, he calls the believers to be patient. The day is near. And then verse 9 seems to repeat all the teachings he had covered so far. What I believe James is calling people towards the day of the Lord with great hope and anticipation, while at the same time, reminding them to be mindful of the manner in which they are currently living their lives. There is hope that has been secured, but there is manner in which we are to patiently wait. We can easily become nihilistic, thinking that the end will soon come, and so not to worry about how we live our day-to-day lives. But this is not so for those who are in Christ.
The manner in which we live now matters. The way God challenged me in prayer to think about how I am spending my life now is the same message that James is reminding all of us here in this passage. We are a people who will behold unimaginable glory. But until that day comes, until we see our God face to face, I pray that the lives that we lived to that point would be ever so pleasing onto Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise that You will return. The Spirit and the bride declare, “Come!” But we ask for Your mercy that when You do come, we would be found living lives in a manner worthy of Your calling. And we cannot do this without Your Spirit— fill us with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ecclesiastes 12-Proverbs 1