Weekend, December 30, 2023

Remaining Faithful

And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:3 NLT)

If your life were to end today, would you be able to say, like the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT)? Paul was saying, “I didn’t stray from the truth of the gospel. I lived it, and I proclaimed it.”

It isn’t a matter of being able to say, “I was flawless and perfect. I never made a mistake.” Rather, would you be able to say, “I kept with it. When I fought, I took on a few black eyes, but I kept fighting. When I ran, I stumbled a few times, but I got up and ran even harder to catch up. I finished the course. I have remained faithful”?

If so, then the promise that Paul spoke of is for you as well: “And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (verse 8 NLT).

Paul was describing those who are looking forward, with great anticipation, to the return of Jesus Christ. He was speaking of those who are leading lives that are right before God and honoring to Him—those who are ready for the return of Christ.

Do you love Christ’s appearing? Are you looking forward to the day when Jesus will come back? When you think about the fact that He could return at any moment, does your heart leap a little with excitement? Or, does it sink with dread? This is a good litmus test of your spiritual character.

If your life is right with God, then you’ll welcome the thought of Christ returning at any moment. You’ll rejoice in it. Like the apostle John, you will say, “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20 NLT).

On the other hand, if you’re living in a way that isn’t pleasing to God, it would indicate that you don’t look forward to His return.

The great British preacher C. H. Spurgeon said, “The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand. The righteous man ploughs the furrows of earth, and sows a harvest here, which shall never be fully reaped till he enters the enjoyments of eternity; but as for the wicked, he ploughs the sea . . . the place that knew him shall know him no more forever.”

If you’re eagerly awaiting the return of Christ, if you’re ready for Him to come back, then it will impact the way that you’re living today. The Bible tells us, “And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3 NLT).

This simply means that you’re living a life that is right with God. You’re prepared. You’re looking forward with anticipation to the return of Christ.

If you’re living this way, then God promises you a crown of righteousness in that final day.

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new believers growth book greg laurie devo offerIn thanks for your gift, you can receive a copy of Ben Born Again's New Believer's Growth Book by Greg Laurie

Cartoon companions Ben Born Again and YellowDog teach kids how to read the Bible, how to pray, how to know the will of God, how to resist temptation, and much more in this engaging resource written for children. A copy will be sent to you for a gift of any amount to Harvest Ministries this month.

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