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Planning for Jesus

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Salvation, Second Coming

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security, then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

(1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

There’s one thing about labor—you can’t get out of it. There’s no saying, “Oh, today is inconvenient, can we try for next week instead?” No. That baby is coming, ready or not. If you have no crib yet, you’ll have to use a dresser drawer. It’s too late for you to do anything but deal with the baby!

The same is true for Jesus’ return, isn’t it? When we hear the angel’s trumpet and see the glory of God spread across the sky, it’s going to be too late to put off … whatever we have been putting off, when it comes to our life with God. What comes next will be joy—or shame.

For Jesus’ people—who have been washed and forgiven and brought into God’s kingdom, all through His gracious, loving choice—that will be a wonderful day! It will be the consummation of everything we’ve waited for.

But even God’s people may be embarrassed if that day catches us behaving like people of darkness rather than people of light. I really don’t want to face Jesus with my mouth still full of nasty gossip—with my mind clouded with pride or selfishness—with my hands stretched out to grab rather than give. It’s true I’m still a sinner, as well as a forgiven saint—but let Jesus catch me behaving like the saint, please. Which is Paul’s whole point.

“Be what you are,” is a decent summary of Paul’s advice. If you are on the verge of giving birth, make sure the nursery is ready—have a go-bag by the door—take a shower! And if you are a Christian waiting for Jesus’ return at any moment, tell your friends and family about Him—pray for them—and show your love for Jesus in what you do and say. Ask the Holy Spirit to do it through you. He can, and He will.

We Pray: Lord Holy Spirit, help me to live ready for Jesus’ coming. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on November 15, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights

Reflection Questions:
1. Tell about a time when you were caught unprepared.
2. What one thing could you do today that would make you happier if Jesus returned tonight?
3. Ask the Lord to show you how to share your faith with someone you care about.


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