Daily Devotionals

Soon and Very Soon!

I love the songs that tell us about Jesus coming back. “When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more…I’ll fly away, O glory…Soon and very soon we are going to see the King!” These are powerful words that always bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. What’s more, I love singing them in the company of the Church. I love to hear our voices blending and think about what it’s going to be like when we’re all gathered around the throne. These things stir our hearts because we think about that trouble-free, glory-filled environment and immediately want to be there. It’s good to long for Heaven and I think very healthy for us to think about it often. But I believe it is equally healthy for us to remember that Jesus left all of that once and has come down already.

The whole message of the Gospel is about wrapped around His comings, first and second. Jesus wasn’t an afterthought, like God flooded the earth, promised He wouldn’t do that again and so He had to come up with another solution. Jesus was there from the beginning. He has always been the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation. His will has always belonged to the Father and His desires have always been carried out by the Spirit. Jesus’ birth didn’t cause Him to be recreated. One of the mysteries of creation is how all of the glory of Jesus fit into a little baby, but honestly, that’s just one among MANY mysteries we can’t understand because we are on this side of Heaven. The point is, Jesus came.

Jesus came because that was God’s plan. He came because He loves us and chose to submit to the will of the Father to die as the sacrifice for our sins. He came into our bloody mess and comfortable chaos and lived. The miracle of the return of Jesus we all long for is not impossible. He’s already done it once. This is trip 2 we are talking about here! But these aren’t the only times God came to us.

The story of the Bible is one big narrative of God mingling with His creation. This part of the story is one of the things that sets us far apart from every other religion on the planet. God loves us enough to keep mixing it up with us. Despite our sin and rebellion, despite our deep failures and broken relationships, despite our junk, God keeps coming back. And it’s not like He’s distant in the down times. We see Him in the Garden with Adam and Eve and then we see Him again in the field with Cain, but there was enough interaction between those two appearances that Cain and Abel knew plenty about His requirements. We see Him walking through the dead animals with Abraham, see Him wrestling with Jacob on the creek bank and see Him with Moses on the mountain, but there is enough conversation in the mean time for a whole nation to develop the ability to recognize His voice and respond to His will. My point is, God loves to be with us and this is not a new revelation. He’s always loved being with us.

What does this mean for us? It means while we love to think and sing about Heaven, we should think and sing more about His work among us now. It means that one day we will be pain and trouble free in His presence, but that day is not here yet. To spend all of our time just waiting on that day to come is not the best use of our life. We’ve been called to faithful obedience now. Jesus didn’t tell His friends to wait until He returned to make disciples of all the world. He told them to “GO!” And not just anywhere, but everywhere! We have a job to do; a very specific job.

I pray the next time you sing “Soon and Very Soon” you will think not only about what’s coming in Heaven but what is here, now, today. Jesus has already come and His coming demands our faithful obedience. That is more than Church attendance once a week or saying nice words to the people around you. Our faithful obedience looks like us in daily surrender mode to Him. He said its like putting your hand to the plow and not looking back.

You may say a life like that is not possible for the normal person. I say that’s the only normal life available. You want Heaven now? The closest you can get is a life that looks to Him in every way. I will be there when the roll is called up yonder, but I also fully intend to be present when it is called here tomorrow.

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