Thursday, November 5, 2009

How Not to Waste Your Life: Three Keys, Part 3

We've been looking at 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 and discussing three keys to not wasting your life.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

The third key in this series is this:

Anticipate the Coming of Your Lord

Here is Paul’s great motivation. He lived in the reality that Jesus is going to come back.

But why is he calling the Thessalonian people his hope and joy and crown of boasting? Shouldn’t that be the Lord and not people? The picture here is that when Jesus comes back it won’t be just Paul and Jesus there but also these fellow Christians that God had used Paul to reach. It’s like Paul is saying, “When I see the Lord Jesus you are going to be my boast, you are going to be my joy, you are going to be the fulfillment of my hope.

Do you see this? This is our eternal reward: it is going to be the presence of people that we were responsible to lead to Christ, those that we influenced by our lives and our words and our praying. This is a call for us to spend our money, and time, and energy to reach people and love them and share the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified and raised from the dead, to share that with them. Look how he repeats this in v. 20, For you are our glory and joy. He’s saying, “You are it. You are what we live for in the presence of the Lord.”

Is it any wonder that Paul was successful. He lived in light of eternity. He live in the constant awareness that he would stand before God at His coming and he wanted to take as many with him as possible. He loved people, he understood his enemy, and he anticipated the coming of his Lord.

If you could begin to put those things into your life you will unlikely reach the end of your time saying, “I’ve wasted it.”

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