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23 JUNE 2016

HOW SWEET ARE THE TIDINGS

Do you wait for Jesus return with anxious anticipation, yearning to see His face, to touch His nail-scarred hands? Do you have confidence in the saving power of the Lord and faith in His promise of forgiveness and redemption for all of your sin? Or are you watching with fear and trepidation? Have you decided that there is no forgiveness for the things you have done or are still doing, and you accept the reality of His imminent return with the resignation of one on death row? Think about these questions seriously and deeply before you answer because your life depends on your answer, your eternal life, that is! Too many Christians are somewhere in the middle, between these two extremes. Many accept Jesus second coming as a reality of being a Christian, but give little thought to whether they will actually experience it! Even when they accept the imminence of His return, many wish they could barter for more time because they are enjoying their lives so much or because they still have many things they want to accomplish in this world. But we are warned throughout scriptures that Jesus’ return will be according to the Father’s plan and timing, and even those who think they are prepared will be surprised! “You know very well that the day when the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief who comes at night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2 ERV). Thieves don’t announce their coming ahead of time; they go sneaking into the homes with the potential for greatest reward but least resistance. Sometimes they even find their way past locked doors and security systems meant to deter them.  

So what are we to do? How are we to be prepared for the Lord’s return? When we read, in the Bible, the parable of the ten virgins, who represent the body of believers, we see that fully half of them were unprepared for the arrival of the Bridegroom, who represents the Lord Jesus. “In those days the kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were sensible and five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. But the sensible ones brought their lamps and oil in their flasks as well. Then, as the bridegroom was a very long time, they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But in the middle of the night there came a shout, ‘Wake up, here comes the bridegroom! Out you go to meet him!” Then up got the bridesmaids and attended to their lamps. The foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Please give us some of your oil—our lamps are going out!’ ‘Oh no,’ returned the sensible ones, ‘there might not be enough for all of us. Better go to the oil-shop and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they had gone off to buy the oil the bridegroom arrived, and those bridesmaids who were ready went in with him for the festivities and the door was shut behind them.” (Matthew 24:1-10 PHILLIPS). The women who had prepared for a long wait could not help those unprepared; each had to make their own preparations. In the same way, we must, individually, be ready spiritually to meet the Lord when He returns. If we are found unprepared in our hearts, if our hearts are too focused on things of the world, the Lord will turn us away, also! “Later on the rest of the bridesmaids came and said, ‘Oh, please, sir, open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you I don’t know you!’ So be on the alert—for you do not know the day or the time.” (Matthew 24:11-13 PHILLIPS). Devote your heart, mind, and entire being to knowing the Lord.

Have you ever had the same song on your mind for five days straight? The heart song I share today is that one for me! I’ve heard it in my mind, whispered the words, hummed the tune, even sung aloud, depending on where I was at the time, but I could not escape this message in song!

“How sweet are the tidings that greet the pilgrim’s ear,

As he wanders in exile from home!

Soon, soon will the Savior in glory appear,

And soon will the kingdom come.

Refrain

He’s coming, coming, coming soon I know,

Coming back to this earth again;

And the weary pilgrims will to glory go,

When the Savior comes to reign.

The mossy old graves where the pilgrims sleep

Shall open as wide as before,

And the millions that sleep in the mighty deep

Shall live on this earth once more.

There we’ll meet ne’er to part in our happy Eden home,

Sweet songs of redemption we’ll sing;

From the north, from the south, all the ransomed shall come,

And worship our heavenly king.”

“So store your treasure in heaven. The treasures in heaven cannot be destroyed by moths or rust. And thieves cannot break in and steal that treasure.” (Matthew 6:20 ICB). Have a blessed day!

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