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How Long, O Lord? – Joy

This week we continue the season of Advent by lighting the 3rd candle, the pink candle of peace.  Our 2011 Advent theme is “How Long, O Lord?” and each week we’ll be looking at a passage of Scripture that focuses on the Second Coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Our text this week comes from Philippians 4:4-7:

  • Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This week we light the Candle of Joy.  God through Paul calls followers of Jesus in this passage to have joy continuously—Rejoice in the Lord always.  There are so many reasons for believers to have joy and rejoice, but one of the reasons that Paul gives us here is that the Lord is near.  In one sense, this means that Jesus Christ is nearby.  But there’s another sense here that Jesus is not far from returning.  Jesus is near to coming again.

The entire thrust of the New Testament is that we are living in the last days and must stand ready for Jesus to return.  We have no clue how many days are left, but we do know that they are coming to an end and that Jesus will soon return any day now.  Jesus Himself tells us so in Revelation 22:7, “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

You might be thinking, “Well, Lord, what are you waiting for?  Come on!”  But, Peter reminds us 2 Peter 3:8-9 why Jesus has not returned yet:

  • But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Jesus has not forgotten about us.  He simply is patiently waiting for more people to be saved.  Our waiting is others’ salvation.

As we light the Candle of Peace, if there is one reading this meditation who has never trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, we pray that you see this today that the Lord is being patient and giving you another opportunity to be saved.  Be saved today because the Lord is near, knowing that His patience will run eventually run out, and then it will be everlastingly too late.

And to those who have trusted Jesus, as you wait for Jesus to come again, may rejoicing be what comes out of your heart and your mouth so that the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus until He arrives.


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