Question / Comment - How should I live while looking and longing for the Lord's return?
Please help with my anxiety! One of the crowns we get is a crown for longing for Gods appearing or loving his appearing which mean 2 different things and I don’t know which is which but if we win the crown for longing for his appearing then I fear I may lose this crown. How am I supposed to long for Gods appearing when I have so many goals to complete in a few months time and so many ways I want to serve God in the future. Am I just supposed to throw them all away because I can’t anticipate the future if I know the future can hinder my goals and visions. PLEASE help me with this
there is only one verse regarding a crown and loving His appearing. It is:
2Ti 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; (8) in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Some Bible versions use 'loved His appearing' as above and some use 'longed for His appearing'. But it is the same thought and verse.
This crown, as it says, is for loving His appearing. That means that you desire and long for Jesus' return. You would think that this would be the position of all Christians but there are many that give little thought to His return and some, especially amongst the young, that actually prefer that His coming is delayed so they can travel, get married, have children etc... But the Bible instructs us to desire and long for His coming. So the questions to ask yourself are 'do I actually want Jesus to return?', 'do I keep alert to the signs of His coming?' and 'do I live with His soon coming in view?'
Now that last question doesn't mean that we do nothing or don't make plans. Far from it. It means that we live with one eye down here and one eye on eternity. The thought of Jesus' soon return should have a sanctifying influence on our life. When speaking of the Lord's return John wrote:
1Jn 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
It should also prompt us to be used by the Lord in whatever way He has for us, so that we will store up eternal heavenly treasures and not just temporal earthly riches. When Paul spoke about the resurrection at the return of Jesus, he ended the chapter by saying:
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Any work or toil for His name is not in vain. If done with the right motives it will be rewarded.
In terms of your goals and plans, carry on making them as you pray and commit them to God. Jesus doesn't expect us to just stop and look up into the sky! None of us know the exact time of His return. So we aren't just meant to stop! Jesus said, in the context of His departure and return, that we are 'to occupy till I come'. Or as another version has it:
Luk 19:12-13 So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. (13) "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.'
God gives us different gifts and talents that we are to use. We all have responsibilities and positions that we need to serve faithfully in. Whether we are a son or a daughter, a mother or a father, a business owner or an employee... whatever position we find ourself in we are to work as unto the Lord. It is fine to make plans for the future as you pray about them and realise that it is His will that is important (James 4:13-15). But one who longs for the Lord's return also keeps an eye on the signs of the times, happily knowing, and even longing, for that day when Jesus will interrupt our plans to implement His own far greater heavenly plan!
So no need to be anxious. Be honest with God about your plans, fears and desires. The Bible says:
Php 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (5) Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. (6) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I hope this helps you.