Devotion Text: Psalm 24
Are you ready for Judgement Day? More importantly, are you waiting?
In a recent devotion on 1st Thessalonians 3, we talked about how the Lord gets us ready on our trip Heavenward–how we could not do it ourselves and how we depend on the strength God gives us and the fellow believers he blesses us with along the way.
How anxious are you to get there, though?
I remember by grandmother dying like it was yesterday. Still just a boy, I sat on the windowsill of the hospital room as I stood face-to-face with what death looks like. As we sang “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb,” with my entire family crowding the room, the words comforted us as much as her. When the song was over, my dad looked up and had someone go get a doctor. Her battle was over, she was in Heaven now.
Talking to my dad afterward, I remarked how glad I was that my grandma was finally in Heaven, because she had talked often about wanting to be there. She always seemed ill in some way or having other kinds of troubles in her old age. She couldn’t really see, hear or taste any more.
My father’s response surprised me and I will never forget it. “Son, your grandma has wanted to go home for the last 20 years.”
Years later, as my dad lay in his hospital bed, I got another look at what longing for heaven looked like. Cancer had ravaged his body and he could no longer care for himself. He, too, wanted to go home in a way that I hope I will one day understand. Right now, with an amazing family, great friends and a job I enjoy, my prayer is too often: “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, but not just yet…”
David reminds us in this Psalm that the Lord, who has gotten you prepared with “clean hands and a pure heart,” is coming. He is not far off. Lift up your heads and await his coming with thanksgiving and joy. The spoils this King of Glory brings are far more wonderful than any earthly joys. This king, Christ our King, is coming to take you to be with him forever.
Be ready, and be waiting.
Prayer: King of Glory, come quickly, Lord! Do not come on my time or on the world’s time. Let your kingdom come when you will it Lord, in your good time. I can not be ready on my own, dearest Jesus, nor could I turn from the fleeting joys of this world and faithfully wait for you. Prepare my heart and my hands, O Lord, and keep me in your grace until that time comes. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Text: Genesis 19:15-17,23-29
What was it that she loved so much?
Was it the home she had known for years? Was it good friends she had made? Was it a certain kind of lifestyle? Was it the intoxicating indulgence of blatant sin?
Lot’s wife loved something about Sodom and Gomorrah. As two angels whisked Lot and his family out of the city, they warned the family not to look back at what was happening. But as the Lord rained down burning sulfur, Lot’s wife couldn’t help but look back. Instantly she turned into a pillar of salt.
When the Lord Jesus returns on the Last Day bringing destruction to the heavens and the earth and judgment to all, will you be ready? Will you be eager to leave this sinful world and enter the safety of eternal life? Will you be eager to leave behind everything that you know and love here?
I’m guessing that last question caused you to pause. Are you really eager to leave behind the life that you know, the house you have lived in for years, the friends you have had so much fun with?
We begin to see why Lot’s wife fell into the temptation to look back.
During the new church season of Advent we prepare for Jesus’ coming–not just at Christmas, but his final coming on Judgment Day. As we prepare for the Last Day then, God calls us to lift up our heads to watch and wait for Christ’s coming.
It’s a completely different mindset than humans are used to. It means realizing that this world is temporary, not eternal. It means realizing that this world is sinful, not perfect. It means realizing that heaven has better things waiting for us–better things that we cannot possibly fathom.
So lift up your heads, lift your eyes to the skies, and don’t look back. Jesus is coming!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, come quickly. In this world of sin and darkness we pray that you will quickly come to take us home. Lift our eyes heavenward to bring our focus out of this world and to you and life eternal. We pray this in your name. Amen.