With sun gleaming through and ocean glinting beneath, towering summer clouds turn my thoughts to other majestic clouds — the clouds of glory that will surround our Lord when He returns to earth.
I squint at the dazzling view and remember God’s words to us about His second appearing.
” … so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him.” (Heb. 9:28)
I wonder: if today suddenly became the day of His return, would He find me eagerly waiting for Him?
“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” (I Thess. 4:16-17 NLT)
I want to be found faithful. I want to live today as if this is the day. I want to heed my Lord’s words: “Watch,” Jesus told us. “Be ready. You don’t know at what hour the Son of Man will return.” (Mt. 24:36-44)
“… when the Lord Jesus returns to this world, He shall come with peculiar glory and majesty. He shall come ‘in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.’ Before His presence the very sun, moon, and stars shall be darkened, and ‘the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’ (Matthew 24:29-35)
The second personal coming of Christ shall be as different as possible from the first. He came the first time as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was born in the manger of Bethlehem, in lowliness and humiliation. He took on him the form of a servant, and was despised and rejected of men. He was betrayed into the hands of wicked men, condemned by an unjust judgement, mocked, scourged, crowned with thorns, and at last crucified between two thieves.
He shall come the second time as the King of all the earth, with all royal majesty. The princes and great men of this world shall themselves stand before His throne to receive an eternal sentence. Before Him every mouth shall be stopped, and every knee bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord … there will be no scoffing, no jesting at Christ, no infidelity at the last day…
‘WATCH,’ says our Lord, ‘for you don’t know in what hour you Lord comes. BE READY, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.'” (Matthew 24:36-51) (J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels)
Father, give us hearts that yearn for Jesus’ return! We want to begin each day with hopeful expectation as we peer at our early-morning sky: “Will this be the day?” And as our afternoon wears on and we notice the clouds You’ve formed, remind us to think, “Have I lived this day as one eagerly awaiting?” Cause us to discard whatever earth-bound sin hinders our eager expectation of His arrival! We want to be ready!
Will today be the day?