Eagerly Awaiting His Return
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” Philippians 3:20-21
We live in an exciting time. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t take more than a glance at the news or social media to know this nation—this world—is in a sorry state. But, it’s in a state Jesus warned about in Matthew 24:
“And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” Matthew 24: 6-8
Almost every day there is some new event reported that lines up with the prophecies from the Old Testament prophets such as Ezekiel and Daniel, and Jesus himself as recorded in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. We can rejoice in Jesus for we see his warnings coming in view—the beginning of birth pains. We can rejoice in Jesus because our permanent citizenship is in heaven with him. Our citizenship here on earth is temporary. Everything about today is preparing us for tomorrow.
Paul exhorts us to be eagerly awaiting the return of our Savior. Jesus admonishes us to occupy until he comes. What does that mean?
Perhaps the answer is found in a parable Jesus taught in Luke.
“A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:12-13
The New Living Translation says, “Invest this for me while I am gone.” The parable is one most of us know well. The servants were each given some silver to invest during the master’s absence. When he returned he asked for an accounting of their investment. Some did well, and one did nothing with the talent given.
We’ve each been given talents by our Creator. They are unique to us—not to be compared with those given to someone else. Every day we’ve been given time—time to develop those talents and time to seek our treasure.
“Don’t store up treasures on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21
Is our treasure Jesus? Do we invest time in study and fellowship with him? Do we see our role in nurturing our marriages…in teaching our children…in doing the best we can in whatever circumstances God allows into our lives as investment in obtaining that treasure?
Investing our time and talents every day in the quest for our treasure fulfills our purpose in life. It honors God, and that is, after all, why he created us. As believers, our citizenship is no longer in this strife-torn world…we’re just passing through.
Oh, let us eagerly await his return, for he will change our limited mortal bodies into glorious eternal bodies like his own. He has that kind of power.
by Marilyn Allison