READ : 1 John 2:28-29
1 John 3:1-3
I used to cringe at the thought of the Lord’s return. Prophets like Isaiah and Malachi warned disobedient Israel not to look forward to the “Day of the Lord” but to fear it. Their warnings left a lasting impression on me as I read the Bible as a new believer.
No matter how hard I tried to live truly for God, my too-frequent tendency to disobey him left me dreading the day I would finally see Jesus face to face. Instead of picturing him saying “Well done, good and faithful servant,” I could only imagine him bringing up my failures with a stern and disappointed look on his face.
What a different picture John offers us: believers who are unashamed – even confident! – at the Lord’s coming. Without contradicting the prophets’ warnings against complacency, John expects our belief in our Lord’s Second Coming to have a positive, motivating influence in our daily lives. First John 3:3 pictures believers purifying their lives, not out of mortal terror of divine punishment, but out of hope in eager anticipation of seeing God. Should our expectancy of Jesus’ return be as naughty children hiding our mischief as mother approaches? Or should it be more like the spirit of an excited teenager eagerly getting ready for the first date?
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! We can’t wait to meet you face-to-face for the very first time. Amen.