2 Thessalonians 1:7
It seems Paul did not want the Thessalonians to miss the fact that Jesus is coming back. In his first letter to them, he mentions Jesus' return at least once in all five chapters. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says the people are waiting for the Son's return from heaven to deliver them from the wrath to come. In 2:19, Paul tells the people they are his hope, joy and crown of boasting when the Lord Jesus comes again. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Paul prays the people's hearts will be blameless when our Lord Jesus returns with all His saints. In chapter 4:14-16, Paul explains who Jesus will bring with Him and what an awesome demonstration His return will be. Paul tells the people to be prepared because the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night in 1 Thessalonians 5:2.
I don't want to spoil the surprise, but Paul continues to teach about Jesus' return in his second letter to the Thessalonians. In chapter 1, Paul further explains Jesus' coming to encourage the church during a time of persecution and hardship. Paul tells them God's justice will be displayed because of the suffering they are enduring. When Jesus comes back they will have rest, but those who persecute the church will be punished with eternal destruction. Because of this, Paul prays they stand firm accomplishing all God plans for them to bring honor to Jesus.
Does Jesus' return affect your life? Does Jesus' leaving to prepare a place for you with the expectation of Him coming again to take you to be with Him enter into your decisions today? These letters stress the importance of waiting and watching expectantly by daily living prepared for His return.
Jesus, forgive me for my short-sightedness. I fear the way I look for Your return is like a child looking forward to Christmas. I know it is coming, but it seems so far off I tend to lose my expectation. Holy Spirit, thank You for including Paul's constant reminders in Your word to me. You know I need it.
Psalm 15 is worthy of much thoughtful consideration because it asks and answers one of, if not the major question of life. Who is acceptable to God? Who can live before Him? This is what David is asking in verse one.
In the next four verses, David gives a very thorough answer. David divides up his answer by do's and don'ts. The do's are; walk blameless, do right, speak truth, despise vile people, honor those who fear God, keep your word to your own detriment and be unchangeable. The don'ts are; slander, do evil, harm or speak evil of a neighbor, charge interest or take a bribe. My summary of who can live before God is the person who: 1) does what is right (according to God), 2) does not wrong his fellow man in word or deed, 3) honors those who fear God but despises those who are Godless, 4) does what he says he will do even if it costs more than expected, 5) is careful about how he lends and accepts things of value.
People who live by these standards are not easily moved because of Who is on their side, or rather Whose side they are on.
O LORD, I want to be one who sojourns in Your tent — one who dwells on Your holy hill. Thank You, LORD Jesus Christ. I know this is possible only in and through You. Holy Spirit, always be preparing me for the day of my Lord's return.