Scripture text for Friday, May 7th, 2010: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
I can usually judge the current state of my relationship with God by asking what currently gets me excited. What is it in life right now that I am pursuing most aggressively? What do I find most important? What do I look forward to?
Some days it is a weekend away full of relaxation and no worries. Other times it is a new cell phone or other piece of technology. And still others times it might be success at some task. None of these things are inherently evil or even wrong, but when they become as far as I can see into the future I know that my focus is on the rubble of this earth.
In chapter 4 of Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians he is urging his readers to keep their eyes on the return of Jesus and on that day when we “will be caught up together with [the dead in Christ] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” This is the source of real and lasting hope.
Paul is not urging a preoccupation with heaven that prevents us from living life on earth, but a realization that we are destined for greater things. It is not spiritual mumbo jumbo, but a definitive future reality that we can trust.
When my relationship with God is strong I still look forward to weekends away and to new things, but they do not consume me. The things of this earth are placed in their proper context and I am free to cling to my certain hope of eternal existence with God. I eagerly anticipate a day when “the Lord himself will come down from heaven.”
Devotion prepared by Dan Teefey