“The End is Near”, reads the sign of the man in the middle of Times Square in NYC. Oftentimes in movies or TV, the man shouting from the street corner proclaiming God’s judgement is seen as crazy at best! It would be easy to dismiss the end of time as a theology for the crazy; however, Scripture indicates that the arc of the Kingdom of God will eventually resolve. Jesus is coming back! He will come back to bring about a full sense of justice. Why does this matter?
The inevitable return of God calls Jesus Followers to live our lives differently. Our mission, our vision for our life, our action, and our inaction will all be ultimately judged by God. We make different choices knowing there is a sense of divine weight. This makes things that seem so large and obtrusive shrink a bit in the light of God’s eternal reality. And it causes other things that seem small and insignificant to be huge in light of Jesus’ second coming.
High school was an interesting time for me. I had lots of people with whom I was friendly , yet had very few close friends. It seemed like everyday was so weighty, as I was judged on my ability to cultivate relationships with those who had social influence. Was I cool? Was I liked? Would people accept me? At the time, it seemed like all of this mattered so much! Add a decade and a half, a bit of perspective, and a whole lot of Jesus and these questions matter MUCH less!
There were also interactions that seemed insignificant at the time, yet were much more important. In a quest for friendship and social status, I felt the tug to use my quick wit to tear others down as social conquistador trying to secure the affection of those that I thought “mattered.” Much of my senior year (after I started following Jesus) was spent sitting across a table from someone, apologizing for my words. Those things that seemed so small became so important.
Jesus’ return and the reality of the Kingdom of God have a way of providing clarity. Today after you read, take some time in silence and think over your day. After you move on from this life, which part of your day would matter in light of an eternal reality? What needs to be released? What needs to be elevated? Allow the arc of the Kingdom of God to provide perspective for you.
As a reminder:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead—so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit. 7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.1 Peter 4:6-7 (NLT)