February 21, Sunday

REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches, is an updated version of his blog first posted on April 19, 2014.  He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Confession of a Believer Who Doesn’t Want Christ to Return Any Time Soon”

John 14:1-3

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

The Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is an awkward time for us as believers.  If your church is like mine, you probably went to a Good Friday service last night, where the service was probably centered on Christ’s sacrifice.  There is typically a solemn atmosphere at churches on Good Friday.  Of course, Easter (or Resurrection Sunday, if you prefer) is an entirely different story.  He is alive!  Let’s celebrate!  But what is Saturday?  Do I try to go through the “disciple experience” and continue in a melancholy state because Christ died?  This seems odd since I know what has already happened.  On the other hand, I can’t just party like its Easter, because it’s not Easter yet.  For me, Saturday has always been waiting day.  Basically, I patiently wait through Saturday to experience the joy of the resurrection on Sunday.  Today, I am going to play off of this theme of waiting, to help us think about something we don’t think about nearly enough, namely, the second coming of our Lord.  

In this passage, Christ, on the eve of his crucifixion, gave these words to his disciples in order to comfort them in their coming grief.  But more than comfort, Jesus was instilling hope by assuring them that he would one day return and that they would have a place with him in paradise.  Similarly, if you read through the New Testament, it becomes clear that the first century Christians were desperate for Christ’s return and many even thought it was imminent.  

Of course, as moderns we can say that part of the reason the early church was so heavenly-minded was that they faced persecution for their faith.  The idea that Christ was coming brought a tremendous amount of comfort to those who were being jailed or having property confiscated or even being killed; the king is going to return and bring us into his kingdom.  But that might be the problem.  As a middle class American, I am relatively happy, and I can’t remember the last time I longed for Christ’s return.  But really, is any believer’s life so great that Christ return wouldn’t improve it by a million percent?  For me there are a number of reasons why I don’t consider Christ’s return more:  First, I like my life in this world too much.  Second, I really don’t fathom what being with Christ would be like.  Third, I’ve been lulled into complacency.  Fourth, I don’t see the world as bad as it really is.  The list goes on and on, and I would imagine we have our own similar lists.  

Today, let me ask you seriously, if Christ came to you in a dream or vision and made you the offer, “I can come back tomorrow, if you want”, would you take him up on it, or is life too good?  When was the last time you thought about and longed for Christ’s return or thought about heaven?  I believe the practice of thinking of eternity is a discipline that the modern church has lost.  Spend five minutes today; it’s okay to be a little heavenly minded.  Sometimes hoping for tomorrow helps us to be faithful for today.  

Prayer: “Come, O Lord!” (1 Cor. 16:22b). 

Bible Reading for Today:  Acts 8

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