Gracefully Truthful

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Read His Words Before Ours!

Revelation 1:7-8
Revelation 3:11-13
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Titus 2:11-15

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed so many eves. Some were laden with joy, some with sadness. All were buoyed by the expectancy of a Great Change to come, regardless of context.

This eve, the Eve of Eternity, is no different. Friends, this life we’re living right now, today?
We are in the Eve of Eternity.
I know.
Sometimes it feels like this life is so basic, so routine. We wake up, make the coffee, do the work, make the dinner, go to bed. I get it. But friends, this is our Eve.

These days. These hours. These minutes.

If we were each being honest, we would all agree that our daily routines and tasks seem to take over so much of our time, thoughts and energy. Our intentions may be golden, but we are so easily pulled away. We set alarms, set aside time, set aside our goals and to dos so we can spend time in His presence without outside distraction…for our 30 minutes or one hour…but things get busy, children start crying, our boss moves up the deadline, our car won’t start, fill-in-your blank. As we discussed and shared throughout Pause, most of us find that our challenge lies in actively making space for the Kingdom in our daily lives…but Loves, is that really what we are called to do in these final days?

Or are we called to craft a daily life that revolves around the Kingdom?  

The thing is, we exist in this crazy tension between our identity in Christ and where our citizenship lies, versus the fallen world we currently live in.
Our spirit is at constant war within us, fighting against the flesh and yearning for the holy, because in Christ we are made holy.
Our hearts are burdened by the sin we see around us and in us,
because in Christ we are made clean.
We ache for the hurting,
because through Christ we are sent to heal.
We weep for the lost,
because Christ commissioned us, you and me, to reach them.
We live in this Eve in these imperfect bodies with imperfect desires, knowing that a perfect body awaits us, and friends? It’s really hard to reconcile that sometimes.
Truth? All the time.
But friends, we will live in these bodies until we either die or Jesus returns, at which point,
our Eve will be over.

And when that time comes, regardless of whether it’s when Jesus returns, or we fade as the flowers, will we be able to say that we pursued passionate relationship with our Jesus in our Eve? Will the record of our lives show that we built our earthly life around our calling in Him? With all the expectancy and hope, faith and obedience due the Eve of the return of our King? Or will we be caught unaware, carving out space for Him in the middle of our busy?

When I was a little girl, Jesus’ return seemed so scary to me. I could blame it on the Left Behind books, but there was actually a particular passage of Scripture that always left me worried. The thought of Jesus’ return coming “like a thief in the night” stood in stark contrast to the God of my Bible stories and the Father I had grown to know. I couldn’t reconcile the two, and it left me feeling anxious. Many nights, I laid awake, thinking, worrying and waiting.

My thoughts would race. Why would He sneak in that way? I thought He was clear in His commandments and laws, so why would this be so different from His nature? Maybe He isn’t Who I think He is. Maybe I don’t really know Him at all.

Isn’t that just how the enemy loves to sneak in? But friends? I was missing the whole point of that passage! A little further on, Paul writes (and I paraphrase):

You are not in the dark, so you will not be surprised! You are children of Light, of the day…You are not destined for wrath, but for salvation!

Paul goes on to exhort us to remain vigilant and aware, keeping our eyes open. He isn’t talking about our physical wakefulness here. Whether our earthly bodies die, or Jesus returns, we have salvation! But in the meantime, this walking-out-the-Kingdom stuff in our Eve of Eternity? It’s not for the faint-hearted, friends.

We need to center our lives on Christ to make it through.

We need to live outward focused lives, sharing Jesus generously with others through our words, but more so through our actions.

We need each other; we need to adopt, uphold and encourage the sweet community that Jesus modeled with His disciples.

Our Eve of Eternity is similar to the other eves we’ve journeyed, but there is one stark difference: it is our final eve. Our one shot to fulfill all that He calls us to do. The Word is clear in that no one knows the day or hour, but we do know He will fulfill His promise to us.

Today I am issuing a challenge to each of us, myself included. As we examine how we are living out our Eve of Eternity, think about those who do not have personal relationship with Jesus whom God has placed in our circles. They could be our barista, our cashier, our librarian, or our next-door neighbor. Let’s write those names down and begin to pray for Holy Spirit to reveal and appoint opportunities to do life with them and draw them into community with us!

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