Anyone Else Done with 2020?
Monday - August 24th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 6:19-24
Encourage one another, especially now that
the day of his return is drawing near.
Hebrews 10:25 NLT
"NASA WARNING: Asteroid Could Hit the U.S. ....1 Day Before the Election."
Really? Yep. This was the Apple News breaking news headline on my phone as I woke Sunday morning. I'm not kidding. After a deadly global pandemic, a nearly complete shutdown of society, a significant economic downturn, killer hornets, a divisive presidential election cycle, and racial tensions leading to protests and even looting, an asteroid is hurtling toward our planet?! Really? I think we would all agree that this is the last thing we need right now.
Lesli has been noticing and sharing with me Memes that have been shared on social media dealing with what a horrible year 2020 has been. You have probably seen them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Included in this devotional, you will find one meme dealing with Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2020. The other one shows what 2020 would be like if it were a swing. You can see so many more funny 2020 memes on social media.
With all of the challenges our world has faced in 2020, many of us may have taken the asteroid plunging toward earth headline in stride. Maybe you read it and shrugged your shoulders. Our tolerance for catastrophic worldwide events has undoubtedly grown in the first eight months of this year. As followers of Christ, our ability to handle new tragedies on the horizon should have more to do with the hope we have in Jesus than our ability to adapt and cope with impending disaster. While endurance is a Christian value we should pursue, even it has its roots in something more than an ability to outlast a challenge.
No matter what we deal with today or face tomorrow, our hope found in Christ provides the secret to our endurance and encouragement. Jesus said He would return for His followers. He promised that He would come and ultimately set all things right. He will make all things new as He restores all of creation from the curse of the fall. The hymn writer penned, "It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ."
While yesterday's Take5 addressed how we are to communicate clear encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ, our uplifting words should be rooted in the hope of Jesus. We should remind each other as brothers and sisters in Christ that what we are going through today is temporary. Yes, it brings pain, uncertainty, and confusion, but it is temporary. We cannot ground our hope in our circumstances getting better or our resilience getting stronger. We need to encourage each other with the beauty found in the second coming of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul points to the great hope of Christ's second coming in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. After describing the return of Jesus for His followers in verses thirteen through seventeen, Paul then gives us a key "one another" command. In light of Christ's coming, he instructs us to "Encourage one another with these words." How long has it been since you reminded another follower of Jesus about the hope of His return?
Today, take the time to text, email, or call a brother or sister in Christ who could use a little encouragement. Remind them about our hope with the words Calvary's founding pastor, Larry Dewitt, used frequently. Maybe include the text of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, and right after this passage, simply relay Pastor Larry's words: "Remember, this could be THE DAY!"
In light of all we have gone through in 2020, let's encourage each other with the hope of Christ's second coming!