Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,
In Acts 6, when a dispute arose in the church threatening to distract the Apostles’ attention from their primary calling, they stated that they “would devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). Oh how important it is for us to spend time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study. This week, as we go about our various responsibilities, may we be intentional in daily communion with our Lord through prayer and Bible study!
Some announcements in the life of our church:
1. Prayer meeting next Wed, May 1. Location TBD.
2. Men’s breakfast will be Saturday, May 11, at 9:00 at Denny’s on Gessner b/w 249 and Mills Rd.
3. Church spring picnic at the McDonald’s home on Saturday in May. Stay tuned for final date.
4. This week’s devotional comes from Matthew 24 and considers the attitude we are to have as we await the Second Coming of our Lord.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The Return of the King”
Matthew 24:31, “And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Jesus Christ – the king of kings – will return! He will return to consummate his kingdom! He will return to set all things right, and once and for all to do away with sin and its consequences! That glorious truth is an indisputable Biblical reality (Matt 16:27; Mark 8:36-38; Luke 17:28-30; John 14:1-4; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor 15:23-24; 2 Thess 1:7; Heb 9:28; 2 Pet 3:8-10; Rev 22:20-21). Matthew 24 speaks to this truth of Christ’s second coming; but it also gives us teaching on ‘how’ we are to wait for him. That is to say, Matthew 24 gives us instruction on the question of what is to be our mindset and attitude as we live in light of Christ’s future return.
First, v. 36 answers the ‘when’ of Christ’s return: “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Put another way, while the fact of Christ’s return is certain, the timing of Christ’s return remains hidden in the secret will of God (Deut 29:29).
Then, in vv. 37-41, Jesus expands on this theme highlighting the manner of his return: “For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage … and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man” (vv. 37-39). There will be a certain suddenness to Christ’s return: life is rolling on – people are eating, drinking, marrying, etc – then the Lord Jesus Christ will return in all his glory and splendor!
Finally, given these Biblical truths, the question for us to consider is the “therefore” question. Given what we’ve just described, how should we then live? Vv. 42, 44 answer this question: “Therefore, stay awake … Therefore you also must be ready.” The call is simple: diligence and vigilance in the Christian life. We are called to persevere – to live each moment in faithfulness to our Lord (Matthew 25:1-30 teaches these same truths in parable form). What does that mean practically speaking? It means we foster increasing communion with Christ. It means we spend time in the word of God – not simply reading it, but letting its truths and worldview sink into our hearts and minds. It means we “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). It means we regularly meet with God’s people for gathered worship on the Lord’s Day. To summarize, it means we live each day and each week in communion with Christ – speaking to him in prayer, listening to him in his word, meeting with him in worship, and pointing others to him in fellowship and evangelism. Nowhere does the Bible command that we retreat from society to prepare for Christ’s return. Rather, we live where God has called us to live (1 Cor 7:17-24); but we do so unto the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). Thus, dear Christian, as we await our Lord’s glorious return, may we pray for an ever-increasing communion with Christ; and may we strive to cultivate that relationship through the means the Lord has given to us, namely his word, prayer, and worship!!
Have a blessed week and I look forward to worshipping with you this Lord’s Day,