July 31, 2012
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 31 JULY 2012
First Thessalonians 1:10 refers to believers waiting for God’s Son, Jesus Christ, to return from heaven. The passage does not say that these believers were idle and simply gazing into the sky. "To wait" is a present infinitive in Greek (anameno), and means “to be continuously waiting.” The notion is one of alertness and expectation.
and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come
Anticipating the return of the Lord also means, “to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you” (1 Thess 4:11). Attending to one’s own business and working with one’s hands is with a mindset that is hopeful concerning the future. Another meaning of “wait” is to realize that all you do will be rewarded or rejected by the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns for His church. Such realization provides the highest purpose for all that you do. Nothing is wasted or useless in terms of eternity. Everything you do in life counts for something regardless of how tedious a task may seem.
These believers in the early church expected Jesus to return for them in their lifetimes. Of course, Christ did not return, but they had every reason to expect His return, which is made obvious by Paul’s words in 4:17 (“Then we [Paul and his readers] who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord”). Therefore, for over two thousand years of church history, the church has been able to say that the return of the Lord may be today, it may be tomorrow, or it may happen years from now. Plan as if the Lord were not returning for many years, but live your life thinking, “perhaps today.”
Yours in Christ Jesus,