Are You Laboring to Get Healed? – on YouTube

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Wait Three Days …

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.”     (Psalm 27:14)

FLOWERS UNDER UMBRELLAAs Ben left his office in lower Manhattan, he followed the usual pattern for Friday and stopped by the little flower stand on the corner to pick up a bouquet for his wife. The stand was unpretentious, and the lady who operated it a study in contrasts of human nature. Elderly, frail looking, shabbily dressed, and yet, a pleasant personality with a perennial smile.

Although Ben had stopped by the stand of the “flower lady” every Friday for months, he had never taken the time to talk to her beyond making his selection. But this time was different; something prompted him to comment.

“Every time I come by here you seem to be happy.”

“Sure, why not? Everything is good,” she replied.

“Well, you mean you don’t have any troubles?”

“Oh yes, just like that man walking over there, and you, and everybody, I have troubles. But when trouble comes, I just think about Jesus and Good Friday.”

“What do you mean?” Ben asked, somewhat puzzled.

“Jesus was crucified on Good Friday, the worst day in the world. But after three days came the greatest day in the world … Resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead and everything was OK. So, when I have trouble I tell Jesus about it, wait three days, and everything always turns out OK for me too.”

Interesting philosophy … “Tell Jesus then wait three days.”

But there is a dilemma here; we are part of a “want-it-now” society that will not wait any length of time for anything. Even the most elementary student of the Word cannot help but notice that our God is just the opposite. He is organized, deliberate, extremely patient, on time, and always successful. Have you ever wondered about the death and resurrection of Jesus, and why the climax of that earthshaking event had to wait until the third day? He died on Good Friday; why didn’t God the Father bring Him out of the tomb the next morning … or even late Friday night?

We must remember that when Jesus died on the cross, only His physical body experienced the phenomena of death. His Spirit lived on and continued to function in the Father’s business. His Father had much for Him to do during the period described as “three days and three nights.”

He told the repentant thief, “Today, you shall be with me in Paradise.” Here is solid indication that upon His Spirit’s separation from His body, at the instant of death – on that day (today), He traveled to Abraham’s Bosom … Paradise, where all the faithful saints of old were peacefully awaiting that moment of fulfillment. They had believed the prophets and anxiously anticipated the coming of the Anointed One, but fell asleep in death before the appointed time. Can you imagine the excitement among those joyful souls, as they saw with their own eyes the vindication of their faithfulness? Then, the Risen One completely emptied Paradise and escorted all of the jubilant saints to heaven. Just think, they will be seated with us at the great wedding feast.

Now, on to the next job.

In 1 Peter 3:18, we are told that His body (flesh) was put to death, but He was alive in the Spirit and (in the Spirit) went to proclaim His victory to the spirits kept in prison. Those who rejected the message of God’s spokesmen, and (v.20) who thumbed their noses at Noah, as the Creator waited patiently for them to repent. All of the deceased unbelievers, now in Hades – the place of torment — saw the Messiah as He presented Himself as a proclamation of His eternal victory and proof that God’s Word was and is true!

And now, one final detail before Sunday morning. Our Lord faced Satan, himself, toe to toe. Undoubtedly the devil thought he had Him, and probably summoned every demon he had to join him in trying to keep the King of Kings in hell. Now, Satan is not stupid, but he does stupid things, and this act ranks as his dumbest move since his rebellion.

In a flash of divine power, Jesus stripped the evil one of every vestige of authority, and as an act of totally disarming him and his hordes forever, snatched the keys of death and the grave from his grip. Satan and his cast fell back in cringing fear, and could not stop the Messiah as he blasted out of the confines of hell and in a flash, returned to His body in the tomb.

And not a moment too soon, for dawn was about to streak across the Jerusalem sky. The Resurrection power of the Holy Spirit was dispatched by God the Father, and Christ the Anointed One, came forth out of the tomb in His glorified body … the First Fruit of many to follow!

It was the third day!

Hallelujah!

Wait three days …

There is a message here that has eluded us far too long: “Wait three days” or “wait until the third day” are simply metaphors for “waiting upon the Lord.” If Almighty God, Creator of all, had reason to wait three days before He brought His Son forth from the tomb, why can’t we trust Him to answer our prayers regardless of the time span? His Word assures us that He is faithful — that our prayers in faith that line up with His will (His Word) are heard and will be answered.

Sometimes the answer comes immediately. At other times, for reasons only He may know, the answer does not manifest until “the third day.”

Listen to the “flower lady.” In faith, tell Jesus about your situation; then wait three days! He has promised everything will be OK!

 

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Be Not Afraid!

“For God has not given us the spirit of  fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”                                                                                                      2 Tim. 1:7.

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Perhaps you have heard the humorous description of the lady who could never come to grips with her fears. She confessed that she always felt her worst at the times she felt best, because she knew and dreaded how awful she was going to feel when she felt bad again. Have you ever known that kind of person?

I had a friend many years ago who could never enjoy a beautiful spring day because of the stormy weather he “knew” was just around the corner and would surely strike any day. To the greeting, “Isn’t this a beautiful day, Chuck?” He would invariably respond, “Yeah, but when we get it we’re really going to get it.” Wherever this dear soul was, the aspirin bottle was always within reach, and I don’t recall that he ever had a truly happy day. And he was a professing Christian. Unusual? Not at all. Many Christians today are dominated or noticeably influenced by fears.

To some degree, every person reading these words has been to that barren wasteland called “fear.” And that is exactly what it is: a wasteland. Fear never builds, it never enhances, and it never blooms into anything beautiful. And when fear makes an appearance, it goes about systematically turning everything good into a wasteland. All over the land, day and night, we are fed a super dose of things to be fearful about: fear for our country, fear for our schools, fear for our children, fear of disease, fear of losing a job, fear of not getting a job — fear everywhere and about everything imaginable.

But for the Christian, there is an answer for fear in every phase of our lives. The Bible tells us explicitly that fear does not come from God. The Word calls fear a spirit, and considering its destructive force, it is easy to recognize it as an evil spirit. And since Jesus passed on his authority over evil spirits to the disciples and the believers after them (that’s us!), that translates into our ability to cast fear out and keep it out by exercising that authority. The text Scripture supports this truth by telling us we have been given the spirit of power and love and a mind that is anything but shy. And all of these attributes are part of Jesus! Hallelujah!

One night in the midst of a vicious storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were on the edge of death and screamed out in terror. At His altar of prayer on the mountain, Jesus saw their plight through the all Seeing Eye of God and came to the rescue. God had already made provision for the safety of the disciples, just as He has, through Jesus, made provision for our total salvation; which includes healing, deliverance, provision, and safety. We must set our minds on Him as our total source. We must believe and act on His words that tell us, “Speak to this mountain (of fear) … and as you believe, you will receive.”

Go to work on the fears you are carrying with you. Hear those same words Jesus spoke on the sea as they ring from His throne of intercession, “Be of good cheer. It is I … be not afraid!”

And may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In the Name of Jesus our Messiah, Amen!

Advent Attitudes

ADVENT WREATH - SHARON BAPTIST“For the coming of the Son of man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away. So shall the coming of the Son of man be. Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:37-42

The four week period before Christmas in the Christian church calendar is known as Advent. The purpose is to underscore and celebrate the Advent-or soon arrival- of the Christ child at Bethlehem. Denominational churches throughout the world, particularly liturgical churches, will recognize this season with special services and programs.

This is certainly a fitting recognition of a great historical event. But our purpose here is to center your attention upon an Advent period not restricted to four specific weeks out of the year, but unrestricted and constant in these last days. It is the Advent of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to claim His Bride; and then, after a short season, the return to earth with that Bride to establish His great Millennial Kingdom.

What a day that will be! This time He will not arrive as a baby; He will not be despised, accused, beaten, spit upon and finally brutally murdered. He will be in full regalia as a conqueror, His royal insignia shouting, “Behold, the King of kings and Lord of Lords –before whom every knee will bow!” We are now in the Advent season of His soon return. Do you believe that? If we accept the reality of that statement, it is incumbent upon us to develop and maintain a spiritual attitude that points in that direction. Remember, the scriptures tell us that He is coming for those who are expecting Him. That translates to believing that He is coming, and will appear at any moment!

To help us develop that high level of expectancy and preparation, we are listing thirteen “Advent Attitudes” with applicable scripture references. Read them, study them, absorb them, until they become an integral part of your walk of faith.

1 – Believe His coming: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 This is not a fad or a theory, but a reality and vital part of our faith. This is not a simple statement, it is a promise. All of the promises of God are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus!

2 – Pray for His coming: Matthew 6:10, Revelation 22:20 Intercession for His coming motivates us to a deeper commitment to holiness and service.

3 – Love His coming: 2Timothy 4:8 “…to all those who have loved and longed for His coming.” Are you caught up in the madness of this world, or does the Advent of His coming cause you to fall deeper in love with Him?

4 – Preach His coming: 2 Timothy 4:2,1 The soon return of our Lord for His Bride is a vital part of the message we must declare.

5 – Watch for His coming: 1Thessalonians 5:6 Part of our faith walk includes being awake, sober and full of expectancy.

6- Expect His coming: Romans 6:19,23 Here the Apostle Paul urges us to eagerly anticipate His soon coming, and to welcome the first indication of it.

7-: Mark 13:35; Titus 2:13 The word “looking” as used in this text carries the double meaning of separation and expectation. Re: Hebrews 12:2

8- Wait for His coming: 1Thessalonians 3:5 The margin here reads “…the patience of Christ.” Patiently our Lord awaits the Father’s signal to come after His Bride. We are to manifest that same patience here on earth.

9 – Do not despise His coming: 2Peter 3:3,4 This may sound like a strange statement, but scoffers abound today. Many who professed belief in His coming are cynically asking, “Where is He?” Some do not believe in the Rapture and reject any approach to prophecy. That is “despising” His coming.

10 – Hasten His coming: 2Peter 3:12 Literally translated this reads “expecting and hastening”.

11 – Live in the power of His coming: 2Peter 1:16 The confidence in the soon return of our Lord is not just a spiritual luxury, but a source of real power for daily living and life.

12 – Live His coming: Philippians 3:20 It is not sufficient for us to grasp this truth – it must grasp us!

13 – Be unashamed at His coming: 1John 2:28 We saints must never be ashamed of this truth, or be a shame to it. On that day, many Christians will meet Christ with a saved soul, but so ashamed of their non-works of “wood, hay, and stubble” that they will feel like shrinking away in shame.  We would rather hear, “WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. ENTER IN TO YOUR REWARD!”

Happy Advent!
A Merry and Blessed Christmas!

The Healing Power of Obedience

HEALING AT POOL FROM GARDEN OF PRAISEScripture Reference: John 5:2-9

The Pool of Bethesda was constructed with five porches to house the multitudes of sick and infirm who were gathered there around the clock. Jews had made this place something of a shrine. It was fed by an underground stream, and at certain seasons the water would stir up, or as the Hebrew puts it, it would “boil up.” This movement of the water was attributed to an unseen angel who did the stirring, at the same time release healing power into the water. The first one in the pool would be healed. All the rest — tough luck.

Because this pool had become a shrine, Bible says “great multitudes of impotent, blind, and crippled folk would lie around it waiting for the moving of the waters.” (Vs. 3) Now, I don’t believe that John is recording here something that he believed was so, or that it was something that was actually happening. I believe John was reporting it as a Jewish tradition just as the Jews believed it in that day. I think he did it for a very important reason: to expose its weakness and limitations – in comparison to the all-inclusive healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was not, and could not have been, of God.

Let’s take a look at the situation. The water may have stirred. Hydrostatic pressures within a feeding stream is normal, and occasionally that will cause a movement in the body of waters they feed. But we do not serve a God who would create such a scene of selfishness and disregard for hurting and dying people. Who could have made it to the pool when the waters did move? Only the strong, the rude, the selfish, who would shove and shoulder their way to the edge, ahead of everybody. The rich and important could make the poor and the helpless to step aside. Only the most agile, alert, with the most help, could possibly get to the pool first, stepping over the crippled in the process.
The cry went up, “The water is moving!” What a mad rush it must have been – but only one could benefit. The poor cripple in our text heard that cry for 38 years. But he had no chance. By the time he dragged his crippled body a few feet, it was all over. Somebody else had used up all the power.

This is kind of like a “Wheel of Fortune”, and I can tell you right now, our Lord Jesus will have no part in such a pool. No doubt some were healed. Many have been healed at Lourdes, but not because of the shrine or its water. The body may have responded, as it very definitely can, to the move of faith. Our body is a marvelous creation. Some may have truly believed Jehovah God and received His miraculous touch. But that some were healed is not the point or the question.

Think about it: at the Pool of Bethesda each healing brought more anguish to the hundreds who still lay there in their suffering. (And you can bet the religious hucksters and the money hungry priests were “Johnny-on-the-spot” to take advantage of their terrible disappointment.  Ah, but in contrast, look at how many times Jesus “healed them all!”

In this passage from John, Jesus had just come from the well experience with the Samaritan woman. He had just told her that the healing water of life did not come from that well, or from some pool – but it came from within the hearts – BY FAITH – a well springing up unto everlasting life. And He was the giver of that fountain. Now every poor soul waiting by the pool was undoubtedly a Jew. They already had something better than a possible moving of the water at the pool. Every one of them – as a Jew – had the wonderful promise of a loving Jehovah God to heal them. They had Moses and the prophets and the Psalms of David. What greater promise could He give that the one He gave through Moses: “And God said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord, your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will allow none of the diseases to come on you that came on the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.'”  (Exodus 15:26).

And this from David: “ Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all of his benefits;Who forgives all of your iniquities and Who heals all of your diseases.”   Psalm 103:2-3.

And Jeremiah 17:14says, “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me, and I will be saved.”

The truth is, this bunch of people at the pool were spiritually blind to the Word of their God. Think what glory God would have received if they had sought out His Word with as much vigor as they were expressing at the pool. You know what was wrong? They were waiting for the wrong thing.

Jesus was drawn to this one certain crippled man. Now you can put a lot of different faces on this man because he represent multitudes today who are suffering — including Christians. Like with the woman at the well, Jesus knew exactly what this man was thinking. Scripture doesn’t say why Jesus picked him out. Maybe he had lain there the longest – 38 years of despair and disappointment. The average person there could not understand the depths of his suffering, but Jesus did. Think how many times he must have raised his hands and pled, “Please help me.” But they rushed on by.

And the world rushes on by. Multitudes of Christians today are lying in a state of despair and depression — impotent either physically in one of many ways, or impotent spiritually – hoping for a miracle. They’re waiting for someone to stir things up and make something happen. Many of them spend their entire lives waiting for that life changing miracle. They drag themselves to meeting after meeting; seminar after seminar; whole series of counseling sessions. And they tell and retell their story of pain and woe — but nothing seems to happen.

Notice something very important here. Jesus asked this man a question that on the surface seems ridiculous. “Do you want to become well?”  What He was really asking him was, “Are you really in earnest about getting well? Do you mean business? Or do you want me to sympathize with you?” This happens to be a fact of life — some do not really want to get well. They have been through so much pain and agony, they just cling to it and make do.

Notice what the man replied. He did not respond with an eager, “Oh yes, I want to be healed!” His reply was “I have no man to help me.” In other words, “I am not healed because it’s somebody else’s fault.” If the truth were known, he probably gave up on success here long ago.

A sad truth is that so many people have built their lives around pain and suffering. They have complained and discussed their situation for so long that if they did get healed, they would have nothing to talk about and probably have to learn a whole new lifestyle. They would have to learn the language of hope; they would have to be joyful and encourage others.

Fortunately for this lame man, Jesus ignored his response. He simply responded with, “Rise, take up your bed and walk!” Notice that Jesus did not rebuke him, did not cross examine him, and made no moral demands. He was compassionately touched with his infirmity. All that Jesus asked him to do NOW, was to believe His words and OBEY — rise up and walk!

You know, the man could have refused by saying, “It won’t work. I am destined to die like this” or, “Are you kidding?” He had to believe that his time for deliverance had come, and move in total obedience. Now look at verses 19-20. Jesus tells the Pharisees. “My Father wanted him healed, so I healed him!” It was God’s love, His will, His desire that this man be whole … and so it was.

Sometimes it is so difficult when you are down and weak to believe that God loves you. But no matter how worthless and displeasing you feel, that is the time to step out in childlike faith and declare, “Lord, on Your Word alone, I will arise, get up, and walk with You!” You don’t need to understand any of it. There is time to learn the ins and outs of doctrines —all of that will come in time. But you must take the first step of obedience, rise up and turn to the Lord! He’s waiting! God will respond to the cry from the heart.

I somehow feel that Jesus came to the man at Bethesda in response to the heart cry to the Father. “In my distresses I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God. He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even unto His ears.” Psalm 18:6. You can be sure that a cry from the heart to God will always be answered by the coming forth of a healing word from heaven. GLORY!

Saints, there is no such thing as too far gone. And don’t think you have to spend the rest of your life running to the pool and waiting for something to happen. The lame man spent years at that pool. But if Jesus had not come by, and if he had not OBEYED the Lord, he would have died lame on that porch.

According to God’s Word, all of our suffering, regardless of what it is, can be turned around and not only bring healing to the individual, but also bring great glory to our Lord and Savior. Seek the Word of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit will surely manifest on your behalf…and your testimony of deliverance will testify of the greatness of our Healer and Deliverer, our Lord Jesus. Don’t be that Christian that just sits by the pool murmuring and wallowing in self pity.

Jesus has come by. He is here. Repent, cry out to the Lord. Heed His Word in obedience. Then rise and walk with Him, and be made whole! GLORY!

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Photo Courtesy of Garden of Praise

Jesus, Our Passover

(Note:  My wife Pam and I conduct “Christ in the Passover” services every year during the Passover/Easter season. These services include the full Passover celebration, including the complete Seder dinner. In each element of the service, we explain how that particular element represents Jesus Christ, and how He fulfilled the purpose of every aspect of the Passover celebration. Many of the photos with this article are from those services.)

“These are the appointed times of the Lord; holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed.  In the first month, on the fourteenth day of that month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover”  Leviticus 23:4-5.

In the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus, Jehovah God commanded the children of Israel to faithfully recognize a full calendar of feasts that He was setting before them.  He ordered Moses to proclaim to His people that these were the “Lord’s appointed times.” In other words: “I, the Lord God Jehovah have established them, and the times set are my times.”  What God did in these two sentences was to establish what is known as “The Seven Feasts of Israel.”  All of them would bring remembrances of some great thing Jehovah God had done for His people; and prophetically point to the future fulfillment of each by the coming Messiah.

It should be noted that on His last night on earth, just before His crucifixion, our Jewish Messiah Jesus chose to celebrate Passover with His disciples.  He placed His personal imprint on the celebration that night, in a way that would impact the Church for all time.

The Feast of Passover is the convocation that begins the Festival Year for the Jews, and occurs at the beginning of spring.  Exodus 12 and beyond tells in great detail the story of how the Israelites were delivered from Egyptian bondage and slavery.  The critical time slot in this saga was the night of the tenth plague.  From this historic night, God begins to set dates.

Now, we need to understand that the Hebrew calendar is much different than the Roman calendar we use today.  It is a lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon, not on the revolutions of the earth around the sun. Each month starts with a new moon, and reaches a full moon in the midst of a 28-day cycle.  Passover always falls on the first full moon of spring, in the month of Nisan, the first month of the Sacred Festival calendar, and the month that is equivalent to our April.

Almond trees in bloom. Courtesy USAF, via Wikipedia.org

An interesting sidelight here is the beautiful story of how God uses the almond tree at this time of year.  This tree grows profusely in the land of the Hebrews and blooms at the end of winter.  Even if a Jew could not read or understand the calendar, he would not miss Passover. All he had to do was watch the almond tree: when blooms appeared, the next full moon was Passover.

Well, what is the meaning of Passover?  In one word: SALVATION!  On that night in Egypt, because of “a male lamb without blemish” and its shed blood, there was deliverance and life!  The message in both the Old Testament and New Testament is very clear: the Blood of The Lamb saves and delivers. That blood delivered the Jew from Egyptian bondage and death and the Christian from the bondage of sin and death.

It is no coincidence that Jesus was sacrificed on Passover.  He spoke with resolute firmness in Matthew 26:27, “This is my blood of the New Testament, shed for many for the remission of sin.” John the Baptist had declared earlier as he introduced Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River, “Behold the LAMB of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  God set the dates, and the principle involved here is present in all of the remaining feasts.

Table Being Prepared for Passover Seder Dinner
Table Being Prepared for Passover Seder Dinner

The faithful Jew today celebrates Passover in commemoration of the deliverance of their ancestors from Egypt while looking forward to the ultimate deliverance through the Messiah to come.  On the other hand, the Christian today, both Jew and Gentile, celebrates Passover, not only recognizing the deliverance from Egypt, but also seeing the feast as a prophetic shadow —  pointing to the Messiah, Yeshua Jesus, who has already come and fulfilled this wonderful convocation.  In Egypt the Hebrew children marked their house with the blood of the lamb.  Today, as Christians we mark our hearts and body with the Blood of Christ, the true Paschal Lamb of God.  We have already been passed over; the death angel cannot touch us. Our eternal life has already begun — RIGHT NOW!

On that night, at the Passover table with His disciples, Jesus took the unleavened bread, gave thanks and broke it.  He then passed it to the disciples and said: “Take and eat, this is my Body given for you…”  Then He raised the Third Cup, “The Cup Of Redemption,” prayed the prayer of thanks, and passed it to the disciples saying, “Take and drink; this is my Blood of the New Covenant  shed for you…”.  And thus, our Holy Communion was born!  As they ate the Bread and drank the Cup Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” He is literally saying, “I am now the Paschal Lamb of God; it is My Blood that saves from death and brings life more abundantly.”

Enlarged Representation of the Seder Plate Showing the Foods Eaten at the Mean
Enlarged Representation of the Seder Plate Showing the Foods Eaten at the Mean

Not only did Jesus fulfill the Feast of Passover by going to the Cross, but He also fulfilled the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Feasts.  He was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, arose from the Tomb on the Feast of First Fruits, and sent the Holy Spirit to His church on the Feast of Pentecost. In the not too distant future, He will fulfill the 5th Feast — The Feast of Trumpets — when He comes for His Bride!  Can you shout “GLORY!”?

 

Jake Sprinter’s Sunday Post Challenge: Ongoing

JESUS THE SAME - PINK - JIM SUTTON, 2006 - LARGERI borrowed this artwork from Jim Sutton at Gospelgifs.com to share for Jake’s challenge this week.  Jesus Christ and His love are the MOST ONGOING and dependable things in the universe. He is the same: yesterday, today, and FOREVER!

To take part in the fun of Jake’s challenge, visit his site here:
http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/sunday-post-on-going/

~

 

Advent Attitudes

ADVENT WREATH - SHARON BAPTIST“For the coming of the Son of man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark. And they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away. So shall the coming of the Son of man be. Then there shall be two men in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:37-42

The four week period before Christmas in the Christian church calendar is known as Advent. The purpose is to underscore and celebrate the Advent-or soon arrival- of the Christ child at Bethlehem. Denominational churches throughout the world, particularly liturgical churches, will recognize this season with special services and programs.

This is certainly a fitting recognition of a great historical event. But our purpose here is to center your attention upon an Advent period not restricted to four specific weeks out of the year, but unrestricted and constant in these last days. It is the Advent of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to claim His Bride; and then, after a short season, the return to earth with that Bride to establish His great Millennial Kingdom.

What a day that will be! This time He will not arrive as a baby; He will not be despised, accused, beaten, spit upon and finally brutally murdered. He will be in full regalia as a conqueror, His royal insignia shouting, “Behold, the King of kings and Lord of Lords –before whom every knee will bow!” We are now in the Advent season of His soon return. Do you believe that? If we accept the reality of that statement, it is incumbent upon us to develop and maintain a spiritual attitude that points in that direction. Remember, the scriptures tell us that He is coming for those who are expecting Him. That translates to believing that He is coming, and will appear at any moment!

To help us develop that high level of expectancy and preparation, we are listing thirteen “Advent Attitudes” with applicable scripture references. Read them, study them, absorb them, until they become an integral part of your walk of faith.

1 – Believe His coming: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 This is not a fad or a theory, but a reality and vital part of our faith. This is not a simple statement, it is a promise. All of the promises of God are yes and Amen in Christ Jesus!

2 – Pray for His coming: Matthew 6:10, Revelation 22:20 Intercession for His coming motivates us to a deeper commitment to holiness and service.

3 – Love His coming: 2Timothy 4:8 “…to all those who have loved and longed for His coming.” Are you caught up in the madness of this world, or does the Advent of His coming cause you to fall deeper in love with Him?

4 – Preach His coming: 2 Timothy 4:2,1 The soon return of our Lord for His Bride is a vital part of the message we must declare.

5 – Watch for His coming: 1Thessalonians 5:6 Part of our faith walk includes being awake, sober and full of expectancy.

6- Expect His coming: Romans 6:19,23 Here the Apostle Paul urges us to eagerly anticipate His soon coming, and to welcome the first indication of it.

7-: Mark 13:35; Titus 2:13 The word “looking” as used in this text carries the double meaning of separation and expectation. Re: Hebrews 12:2

8- Wait for His coming: 1Thessalonians 3:5 The margin here reads “…the patience of Christ.” Patiently our Lord awaits the Father’s signal to come after His Bride. We are to manifest that same patience here on earth.

9 – Do not despise His coming: 2Peter 3:3,4 This may sound like a strange statement, but scoffers abound today. Many who professed belief in His coming are cynically asking, “Where is He?” Some do not believe in the Rapture and reject any approach to prophecy. That is “despising” His coming.

10 – Hasten His coming: 2Peter 3:12 Literally translated this reads “expecting and hastening”.

11 – Live in the power of His coming: 2Peter 1:16 The confidence in the soon return of our Lord is not just a spiritual luxury, but a source of real power for daily living and life.

12 – Live His coming: Philippians 3:20 It is not sufficient for us to grasp this truth – it must grasp us!

13 – Be unashamed at His coming: 1John 2:28 We saints must never be ashamed of this truth, or be a shame to it. On that day, many Christians will meet Christ with a saved soul, but so ashamed of their non-works of “wood, hay, and stubble” that they will feel like shrinking away in shame.  We would rather hear, “WELL DONE, MY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT. ENTER IN TO YOUR REWARD!”

Happy Advent!
A Merry and Blessed Christmas!