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Leading The Way - Week of December 20

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Jesus is the Soon-Returning King

By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Read John 14:1-4.

In His first advent, Jesus bore the gravity of our sin upon the cross—betrayal, denial, and the just wrath of God in our place. But at His second advent, He will return robed with the splendor of His Father. In His first coming, He was lonely and rejected, but He will return with millions of faithful believers who have gone to be with Him. In His first advent, Jesus was a man of sorrows, but in His second coming, He will wipe away all our tears. In His first advent, His persecutors slapped Him across the face, but in His second advent, His enemies will be made His footstool. On that day, those who love Him and celebrate His appearing, who have diligently worked and waited for Him—they are going to be filled with unspeakable joy!

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Jesus is returning for His followers—and He wants us to be ready, as He said: “Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13, KJV). He wants us to work diligently for His Kingdom until He returns. That means that every relationship we build, every service we offer, every decision we make, and every dollar we give is motivated by the desire to honor and glorify Christ. We do this best by focusing on our destination rather than our journey. By keeping heaven in view and Jesus’ return continually on our minds, we will avoid getting bogged down by the troubles of this world and remain diligent in the tasks He’s given us.

Consider Scripture’s exhortations to us as we wait for Christ’s return: “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming” (James 5:7); “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming” (1 Peter 1:13). For, “. . . Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).

Are you joyfully anticipating Jesus’ second advent, or does the thought of His return fill you with fear? You can place your hope in Him today—place your life in His hands—and begin focusing on the glorious destination He’s preparing for you even now.

Prayer: Father, may I dwell on my eternal destination so that I might serve You faithfully each day. May I be patient and alert, knowing that the delay of Your return springs from Your love and desire that all might come to know Your salvation offered through Jesus Christ. So help me to share that Truth boldly as I await Your return. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, But Why?: LISTEN NOW

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