Smiling At the Future
By Pastor Pierre Bitar
On a hot, humid summer, a friend of mine called saying he was coming to visit me within ten minutes. When my wife heard the conversation, she directly went to make a cold drink and straighten the living room. With three young children that make a mess all the time, the room needed a good cleaning. Jesus often spoke about His return and the Scriptures indicate that we do not and cannot know the time when Christ will return. Not even ten minutes! “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when He will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Master, when He comes, will find watching” (Luke 12: 35-37). For unbelievers it might cause anxiety to think about the future and Christ’s return, because they do not have hope. But Christians who believe in God can have absolute confidence as they stay alert and serving Him faithfully. For those who know God, thoughts of the future bring eagerness and comfort. As the proverbs says, a woman who knows and trusts God “smiles at the future” (Proverbs 31:25).
Since Christ will come at an unexpected time, we should be ready at all times for Him to return. If the earthly law requires a driver to wear a seat belt when driving or to purchase auto insurance, how much more important is the heavenly law’s requirement for believers to be alert and ready for the return of Christ? To be ready for Jesus’ coming, you must be his servant. It should be obvious that a master is a master of servants. His servants live to obey His commands and to do His call. Servants do not have a life of their own; they live to please their Master. This is a noble and honorable call for leaders to live at this standard and no less. I observe, however, that do not fully meet this criteria. Therefore, my plan is to kneel down in front of the Lord and repent: I will spend time with Jesus and request forgiveness of the times I served Him with wrong motives. Moreover, I will ask forgiveness from my children and my wife for every time I didn’t choose to spend more time with them and make their lives more joyful. Another thing that I will do quickly, as I only have very little time to achieve it, is to go to each person in my community and tell him, “Jesus loves you.” My desire from this moment is to be fully devoted, committed servant to Christ and bring Him glory in every aspect of life.
Jesus died on the cross that we can have an eternal life, but the devil is a liar and he is deceiving people in my neighbors, to stay in sin away from Jesus. I will spend time praying for my community and fighting in prayer that God will visit them in visions and dreams. I will do anything for the sinner to get to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. I will not care about preaching to my church members as they sat on those fancy pews. Instead, I would take them outside the church walls and preach the Gospel to everyone we met. There are plenty of people in my community that are broken and in pain. They need someone to visit them and wipe their tears as well as encourage them with the hope we have in Jesus Christ. My plan is to reach to those people and minister to them. We need, as leaders, to stop wasting time doing programs and traditional services, and focus on who we will take with us to eternity. We ought to pray and repent on behalf of our country seeking the Lord intervention in every corrupt and uncompassionate heart for God’s Kingdom. Therefore, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).
We have a calling to be a people of God without spot or wrinkle, and a church who has its priorities straight, to bring people into the Kingdom of God. The day is coming, so we should be ready for Christ’s return. Not just serving Him faithfully every day, but being faithful with my children and raising them in the fear of the Lord. Modeling Jesus’ heart to them as they learn by observing me as a father and investing in them spiritually. The time is not ended yet, but work as Jesus is if coming tomorrow.