Sunday, August 24, 2014

Come Quickly, Lord!... But Wait!

Over the past few weeks we have prayed fervently for our brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted.  For several months our Young Adults Bible Study has been studying Revelation and the coming of Christ.  For the past two weeks my husband has been preaching about persecution.  As a couple we discuss how to prepare our children for what may come to America during our lifetimes.  

And my heart begins to cry out, "Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!"

But I can't say it with all my heart.  Because a piece of my heart is far away; far away from me and far away from the knowledge of Jesus.

 I have come to a much deeper heart-understanding of these verses in 2 Peter 3:

9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief
in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up...13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earthin which righteousness dwells14 Thereforebeloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peacespotless and blameless15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation

It has never before felt so personal to me that while many are eager for the fulfillment of Jesus' promised return and the subsequent destruction of evil, God is waiting not out of leisure, but out of love.  There are more children who are HIS who he desperately loves, and he must wait for them.  

I know that God hears the voice of those spoken of in Revelation 6:

 I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O[k]Lord, holy and true, [l]will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 

And God understands.  He knows their cry. Jesus, too, was murdered because HE IS the Word of God.  But he waits for vengeance because there are many sons and daughters yet to save. 

I cannot know at what point God will complete his plan for the earth, but I do know that there will always be more.  There will always be someone who is deeply loved who doesn't yet know Christ, and at some point those people will perish.  And so while there is still time, let us pray for them, that they, too, may know God and be restored in their relationship with Him.  Let us love deeply enough that we would desire their salvation over our own comforts.  Let us reach out to neighbors who struggle to find meaning in life. Let us comfort friends by sharing the hope that we have. Let us bring orphans into our homes and raise them to know the Lord. 

 And let us "be holy in conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God" and "grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity." (2 Peter 3:11-12,18)

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