2014 May Be The Last Before Our Lord Returns – But It Can Be Our Best

New Year’s is not only a New Year; it is my birthday.  As my physical life moves into the winter of my life here serving our Lord I am often reminded of the passage in the Word found in Mark 13 verses 28-37 where we read:

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.  Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned tasks, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.  Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn,  If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.  What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”

These Words was the focus and motivation of the Church we read about in Acts and the Epistles of Paul. They were alert and watching and they carried out the ministry of the Holy Spirit in such a manner that they shook and changed the entire World.  Their focus was on the cause of Christ and living out their relationship inside a community called the church.  Remember until Pentecost there had never been a church.  The creation of the church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit was brand new.  God calls His creation the Bride of Christ and teaches us that someday Jesus will return for His bride and a wedding.  But, until He comes “occupy” and hold fast fighting an enemy “that goes about like a roaring lion seeking those whom he can devour.”  That church was told that they were being sent out as “lambs among wolves.”  They had nothing but faith and belief the Lord was going to return.
As we begin a new year can I suggest that the church particularly in America has its focus and attention on a lot of stuff; but, seldom on the will of God.  The end result is that the Body of Christ is not changing the World; but the world has changed the church!  The Word commands us to “set our affection (the things we love) on the things above and not on the things of earth.”  If we do not do this then where our affection (our love) is directed will become the focus of our lives.

Romans 8: 5-8 is very clear when Paul tells us:

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God: it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.  Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

We need to understand in this new year if our focus and all our efforts are on getting more stuff and the things of this world we are not being led by the Holy Spirit.  If we are not being led by the Holy Spirit that reality validates we have never been saved!
So, let’s look at our lives and see where is my focus and attention?  I love the song that says–“turn your eyes upon Jesus and look into His wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

If you read the Word your heart must be excited about the reality we are living in the last moments of time before our Lord returns.  Our focus and attention must be on serving the Lord and discipling the babies born into the Kingdom by the Holy Spirit.  The first century church was captivated by this belief Jesus is coming and it may be today!  Do you think this way or is your thoughts about His return far away from that reality?  If that is true then your focus is on the world and not on serving the Lord.  So, perhaps you need to readjust your focus for 2014–you may not have many more opportunities to do so before Jesus returns!