Thursday, December 2, 2021

Advent Words Day 5 ~ Wait


Day 5: Wait

"...While we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:13

While we wait…

Yesterday we looked at how God calls His people to live in this present age - we live for Christ. Notice that Paul says that we live "in this present age while we wait". The implication here is that waiting is a part of how we live when we live godly lives. Our waiting, while focused on the future appearing of the glory of the Lord, is not a passive waiting. While we wait, we live for Christ - imitating His sacrificial love and his way of life as His people.

The Greek word used for waiting has a sense of expectant or eager waiting. This word is a verb in Greek present tense. In Greek, present tense describes an action that is continuing or habitual and often describes a lifestyle. So, we live with a continual expectation of Christ's return. We are continually waiting; we have a lifestyle of waiting. The only way it is possible to live a life of continually waiting in expectation of Christ's return, is that we live with an eternal perspective.

In Philippians Paul reminds us that "our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ". (Philippians 3:20) We wait because our ultimate hope is beyond this world. If we stay focused only on what this world holds, only on the things we can see, then we will give up in despair. We will lose heart and fail to live as we are called to.

 Again, Paul calls us to live with an eternal perspective in his second letter to the Corinthians:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Expectant waiting means we do so with our eyes fixed on eternity. We keep our eyes on God without losing sight of the fact that we live here on earth, in this present age. Our waiting is not to be passive, but active. While we wait with our eyes and our hearts set on eternity, we live with our hands active in the lives of those around us. We live in dependence upon God and obedience to Him.  This is Paul's challenge to us in Titus 2:11-14; to live in obedience now, while anticipating Christ's promised return. We don't wait for heaven to practice God's will; we pray for God's "kingdom to come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven". (Matthew 6:10) And we act. We live self-controlled, upright and godly lives as God's people who are eager to do what is good.

"While we wait with our eyes and our hearts set on eternity, we live with our hands active in the lives of those around us." 

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him." 2 Peter 3:8-14

How do we "speed" the coming of the day we are waiting for? By living holy and godly lives that reveal the glory of the Lord, and by making relationships with those around us, serving them, that our holy living may enable them to come to repentance and faith in Christ. 

The Advent season serves to help us get in touch with our longing for Christ's return, reminding us that the One born to bring our salvation, calls us to live for Him, waiting expectantly for His return while living lives that glorify Him and call others to live for Him as well.

Share how you express today's word on social media using #adventwords2021. You can also share in the Words Challenge Facebook Group.

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