I am a slow learner. Over the past decade I have worked to understand the liturgical year more and incorporate key elements into my Pentecostal ministry. I am still learning. (The upside of that is I will probably die while I’m still learning something.)Continue reading “Why Pentecostals Should Observe Advent”
Advent reading over the years has deepened my thinking about the Second Coming than any Hal Lindsey or Tim LaHaye book… or all of them combined. Those Thief in the Night or Left Behind movies can’t deepen my sense of anticipation for the Second Coming like steady doses of Advent reading year after year. Continue reading “Advent Reading — When Jesus is coming back”
Advent is a reminder of the longing for Messiah the first time. Advent is also a reminder to stir up longing in our hearts for him to come again.
This morning the song in my heart was an old gospel song.
Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.
And this passage from Titus I truly love:
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14, NIV)
I have power for THIS life. Power to refuse sin. Power to walk in godliness. And as I walk in this power I need a longing to love his return.
There my soul will be satisfied. Soon and very soon.
I am preaching on 1 Thess. 4:13-18. Part of what stirs my heart is singing about the coming of the Lord. Songs that also create longing to simply see Jesus.
32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 33 Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. 34 It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert.35 Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!” (Mark 13:32-37)
The focus of the second coming is a part of Advent I love to dwell on as I learn more about the season. I want to have that anticipation stirred in me again.
The disciples got into this discussion because they were so taken with the Temple mount and all its beauty. Jesus said it wouldn’t last and THEN they wanted to talk about the end times.
I don’t want my life so caught up with the “stuff” of this life, the satisfaction I may have with what is going on in my life, that I get sleepy and miss anticipating his return. When I am about the Father’s business, that anticipation can remain high. I can be about his work and think, “If he comes for us now I can show him this! I want to show him this!”
But if I’m satisfied with all the nice things around me and reach a place of complacency (not contentment, because contentment is different), then I begin to go to sleep and my anticipation slips.
Lord, help me to be about your business today. Let me be in your activity today and as I am, let me think, “If you came right now for me, I would want to show you this!”
Longing to see my King…
The fourth Sunday of Advent.
The longing for the Savior to come.
I think of Simeon and his longing for God. God favored him with seeing Messiah before Simeon passed from this earth. Simeon longed for the Kingdom of God.
How I long to see him whom my soul loves.
Part of the Advent Reading is in 2 Thessalonians. Today’s reading in 2 Thess. 2:1-12.
The question here is this: Why is deception so easy?
Paul writes encouragement to the Thessalonians because he wants them to know what is truth. He lets them know they don’t have to be so easily conned in this game of, “Here comes Messiah.”
I can certainly understand that in Paul’s day. Christianity is new.
But here we are a couple of thousand years into this game, and people are still conned. Confusion is still possible. People still buy into lies. People still follow fake power.
The enemy still lurks and plans and schemes. And we still battle deception. While I know we still battle deception, I am somewhat baffled as to why it is so easy to deceive some people.
“…they have refused to love the truth that would have allowed them to be saved.” (2 Thess. 2:10, CEB)
Sometimes… well, many times… we love what we want to hear rather than love truth. This may be our problem.
May our eyes truly be glued to the God of all truth, to the One who IS truth, this Advent season.
There are so many myths to bust about how we view our sanitized versions of Christmas. The perfect Mary and Joseph. The clean straw. All that good stuff.
We want our “meek and mild” Jesus.
But Advent is a time to be reminded of Jesus coming again. And when he comes, it’s not so “quiet.”
3 Our God is coming;
he won’t keep quiet.A devouring fire is before him;
a storm rages all around him. (Ps. 50:3, CEB)
Sleep in “heavenly peace” thinking about that one… 😉
My last post had the text from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. The last sentence is one that intrigues me.
When we talk about Christ coming again, and then use this passage, it’s not usually in a comforting way.
It’s usually to SCARE one another.
“You better watch what you’re doing… JESUS IS COMING BACK!”
How do we find “comfort” or “encouragement” in the words of Christ coming back, especially in world that brought us “A Thief in the Night” and the “Left Behind” series?
Are we truly encouraged by Christ coming back? (And not some creepy, “This world is going to hell in a handbasket and I can’t wait to get out of here” kind of way.)
We need to long for home. A home we’ve never seen.
We need to long for a place we’ve never been, but know it’s the place we belong. We need to long for One we’ve never seen face to face, but we know he is longing to see us.
We need to get tired of being so easily satisfied with the junk of this world.
It’s time to encourage each other with the thoughts of HOME.
Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.