Stop Just Waiting for Jesus to Come Back Again

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Jesus is alive.

He is risen indeed…and He’s coming back again.

But, for now, we wait.

And wait.

(More waiting…)

I don’t like waiting.

Waiting makes me anxious and distracted…and fidgety.

Waiting makes me lose focus and sometimes even forget what I was waiting for in the first place.

Waiting makes me feel stuck.

I need to learn to wait better.

No one knows the day or the hour of Jesus’ return, which means we can’t circle it on our calendars and count it down.

We can’t set a reminder on our phone to make sure we’re ready on time.

We don’t have the luxury of making sure that Jesus’ return fits into our schedule.

And, so we wait…

And, the busyness of our lives often leaves us feeling anxious and distracted.

We lose focus on why God put us here.

We forget that there’s more to this life than just waiting.

And, we get stuck.

Stuck in our routines.

Stuck to our lists.

Stuck in our jobs.

Stuck in our comfort.

Stuck in our faith.

We need to learn to wait better.

Jesus is coming back, but when He left the first time, He didn’t say, “Just wait here until I get back.”

When He left, He said this…

“…go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

It’s time for us to stop just waiting and start going into our neighborhoods and schools and workplaces and making disciples.

It’s time for us to stop just waiting and start teaching our kids and our friends and anyone else who will listen to obey all the words of Jesus.

It’s time for us to get unstuck and remember that there’s more to following Jesus than just waiting for Him to come back again.

Stop just waiting.

Go…

 

 

 

 

Another Day Another Reminder Why Jesus Had to Die

Another day another bombing…this one in Brussels.

Another reminder of how broken this world really is…

Now stop and try and picture a perfect world.

A world with no hate…no domestic violence…no terrorist attacks.

A world with no pain…no sickness…no cancer.

A world with no brokenness…no rejection…no abuse.

A world with no prejudice…no staged protests…no heated political debates.

A world with no slander…no gossip…no bullying.

A world with no selfishness…no shameless selfies…no hurt feelings.

A world with no greed…no bankruptcy…no Ponzi schemes.

A world with no emptiness…no substance abuse…no pornography.

A world with no violence…no cop killings…no suicide bombings.

A world with no loneliness…no misunderstandings…no suicides.

A world with no sin.

A world that for now we can only dream about.

Now, picture a man talking to his dad in a garden.

But, it’s not just any man…not just any dad…and not just any garden.

It’s Jesus Christ talking to God in the Garden of Gethsemane.

(You can read the whole story in Matthew 26).

Both of them know the world is not perfect.

Both of them know that it’s only going to get worse.

And, both of them know that there is only one way to fix it.

Jesus has to die.

When Jesus died on that cross, He died to free you from all the things that make this world imperfect…and broken.

He died to free you from your pain…from your brokenness…from your emptiness…and from your loneliness.

He died to free you from your selfishness…your prejudice…and your greed.

He died to free you from the effects of hate…violence…and slander.

He died so that the perfect world you pictured is not just an impossible dream.

It’s real.

The story of Easter is real.

Jesus died…came back to life…and is coming back to restore what He created.

A perfect world.

Soon you won’t have to dream anymore.

Jesus is coming back…and He’s bringing a new world with Him.

 

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[a] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:16-17

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.[a] He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”  Revelation 21:3-4

 

 

 

When God Interrupts Your Life

Life is often one weekly routine after another.

We fill up our schedules.

Check our to-do lists.

Set our alarms (and our smartphone reminders).

We coast through the comfort of our routine week after week after week.

Life on cruise control…

And then God interrupts it.

Sometimes it’s a big interruption like a medical emergency or the death of someone or the loss of a job or a friend.

Other times it’s smaller interruptions like untimely phone calls, accidents, sick kids, or the car breaking down.

When we face anything beyond the comfort and control of our routine it becomes an interruption.

And, suddenly, our schedule is thrown upside down.

Our to-do list becomes irrelevant.

All the alarms and reminders that we structure our routine around become less important.

And, our comfort and control is replaced with everything from crisis and uncertainty to frustration and fear.

It’s in these times that we learn a lot about ourselves.

Do we really trust God?

Do we really believe that He works all things together for good?  (Romans 8:28)

Do we really believe that He won’t give us more than we can handle?  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Do we really believe that He will supply all of our needs?  (Philippians 4:19)

Do we really believe that He cares about us?  (1 Peter 5:7)

Do we really believe that He has a plan for us like He did with the people of Israel who had been exiled to Babylon?  (Jeremiah 29:11)

It’s in these times where these questions suddenly become real and relevant.  And, we really have to ask ourselves, who’s in control of our lives…is it God or is it us?

When God interrupts your life, it forces you to ask the hard questions that you can usually avoid when life is just routine.

When you feel like you’ve got everything under control, it’s hard to imagine why you really need God at all.

When your life is so comfortable and so routine, you forget that every day is a gift from God.

The full schedule.

The long to-do list.

The rhythms of alarms and reminders…

They don’t have to just be routine.

But when we make them routine we tend to forget our need for God in the routine.  

And, that’s when we need Him to interrupt.

Think about your life.

Think about your routine.

Where’s God in it?

Do you need Him to interrupt your life right now?

 

What to do when you feel broken

When I was a kid, I broke stuff.

Not on purpose.

Not maliciously.

(Well, maybe sometimes “accidentally maliciously.”)

Stuff just breaks sometimes.

Did you ever break something as a kid?

What did you do to “fix” it?

Glue?  Lots of tape?

How about just hiding it and hoping no one ever found out?

Check.  Check…and check.

I tried all of those things…and none of them worked.

The stuff I broke was still broken.

I couldn’t fix the brokenness…and I couldn’t hide it either.

Which got me thinking…

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We are all broken.

Broken people in a broken world.

And, we can try all kinds of things to “fix” our brokenness.

We can glue ourselves back together with the stuff that gives us instant gratification.

Or, tape up the torn parts of our lives with all kinds of temporary fixes.

We can even try to hide our brokenness behind our best fake smile.

But, we’re still broken.

And, the only One who can fix our brokenness is Jesus Christ.

His body was broken on the Cross, so that you wouldn’t have to live in your brokenness.

Stop trying to fix yourself.

Stop trying to hide your brokenness.

Surrender your brokenness to Jesus and let Him heal you…

And, give you the life He created you to live.

Life to the full.

 

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  Jesus in John 10:10 (NIV)