I call this “The Stare.” It communicates confident expectation that if she stares at me long enough, I will let her outside. She absolutely knows it’s going to happen, she’s just not sure when!
Isn’t that how we should be with the return of our Savior and King? He’s coming again! It may be today, it may be next year, it may not be in our lifetime, but He’s coming! Our gaze should be on the horizon, confidently expecting his return.
But while we’re waiting, how should we be living? I really don’t think that we should be “so heavenly-minded” that we’re “no earthly good.” As long as we are on this earth, we are to be its salt and light.
Paul gives us a few hints in his letter to Titus: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14)
- The grace of God offers us salvation through Jesus Christ. None of us is good enough to earn salvation, but it is a gift from God to all who will accept it. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Followers of Christ should be learning from God’s grace, turning from ungodliness and worldly passions. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Are we putting into practice what we’ve been taught?
- God’s grace teaches us “to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.” Are we being good students of our teacher? Is our light growing brighter as we spend more time learning to follow Jesus? As salt flavors and preserves food, are we making an impact on the world around us?
- We have been redeemed for a purpose. We are now God’s own people, and because we have been redeemed from wickedness, we can live for God out of great gratitude for his grace! Are we excited to follow God’s leading when He asks us to do something that will benefit someone else? Are we thrilled when He asks us to humble ourselves to perform menial tasks instead of getting accolades for what we perceive as “greater” service? He has redeemed us so that we will be “eager to do what is good.” “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10) What has God created you to do, and what good works do you see before you that He is leading you into? Great or small, they all matter to him.
Read the parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30.
May we be counted as good and faithful servants when our Lord returns!
Originally posted December 2018, but still appropriate for this first week of Advent 2020!