"Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime."
As an encouragement to follow his instruction in the previous verses, Paul challenges us to live with an eye on eternity not just today. In Colossians 3:2-4 Pauls describes this life as, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."
The New Testament discusses the "last days" a lot. As you would expect, Jesus begins that discourse. In John 6, Jesus describes Himself as the true Bread of heaven that gives life to the world. In His explanation, four times Jesus says all those who come to Him as the Bread of Life, He "will raise up on the last day."
In Acts 2, after the Holy Spirit came upon those in the upper room, Peter describes what just happened by quoting Joel's declaration that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit. Paul (2 Timothy 3:1-5) and Peter (2 Peter 3:3-18) provide a thorough description of the last days that can be summed up with "in the last days there will be times of difficulty."
It is true; our ultimate salvation is much closer than when Paul wrote these words. Paul's desire is to convict us to live as "children of light" by being transformed by the renewing of our minds. By setting our mind's eye on His return, we will make no provision for the flesh because this world is coming to an end.
It seems then the questions for us are "What am I presently doing with the gift of my justification? Is my life today producing the fruit of sanctification that ends in eternal life? What distinguishes me from unbelievers? Am I just sitting around waiting to share Jesus' glory when He returns, or am I actively living as if I expect Him to return today?"
To me, one of the most incredible statements Jesus makes relates to living expectantly for His return. In Luke 12:35-40, Jesus instructs His followers to "stay dressed for action" because when the master returns and finds you awake "He will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them." Jesus follows that statement with a parable comparing His response to a servant following His instruction on the day of His return and one who is not. His response to the disobedient servant is frightening.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the promise of Your action on the last day. Forgive me for focusing on the temporal instead of the eternal. Holy Spirit, remind me this is not my home. I am looking forward to a city whose designer and builder is God. Teach me to live with my eye on that day.
1 Samuel 15:20
Saul brought Agag back to Israel for the same reason another king held Zedekiah in captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 52:11). When you are king, what can you do to elevate your status? You surround yourself with kings you have defeated. Therefore, you become the king of kings.
King of kings, Lord of lords, Jesus, I worship and praise You. I live in a world focused on one's status. The desire of the world is to always be one rung higher on the ladder no matter the cost to get there. Thank You, Father, for placing me in Jesus Christ. May I find my status in Him not some place on a ladder. Father, You have chosen Your King, please forgive me for acting at times as if it were me.