AUGUST 14, 2012
THE RETURN TRIP
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from
you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11, NIV)
One of the enduring ideas in golf is that the game is endearing. It lures us to come back. And even after our worst
days on the course, we do. Maybe we’re stupid, maybe we’re proud. But we say it all the same: “I’ll be back. And next time it will be better.”
The Bible teaches us the same about Jesus. He’ll be back. And for all the excellence of his first arrival on
earth, his second will be better. He will come in his glory and usher in eternity.
Two falls ago, I spoke at a Links Players conference. During the course of the weekend, a woman cornered me and asked
me face to face: “Do you really believe that Jesus is coming back?” She had found doubt in many of her friends. “I know a lot of Christians who don’t think so,” she
explained, expressing her own deep hope for this greatest of events.
Those who do not believe that Jesus is going to return miss some of the plainest teachings of Scripture. Make what you
will of the many end times prophecies and the plentiful interpretations of those coming days, this much is clear: Jesus will return.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, angels immediately announced that he would be back. I suppose you can say you
don’t believe it, but then you don’t really believe the Bible. You don’t believe either that Jesus said we must keep watch for his glorious return (Matthew 25:13, 25:31), or that Paul
warned of the surprising nature of that return: Jesus will come in the same unexpected manner of a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 1:2). That’s a lot of thrust in one direction, a lot to say
you don’t believe.
“OK, so I’ll believe it,” you say. “But what does that mean for me?”
I like the question. It digs deep, asking us if we are ready for that day, which is the very thing Jesus asked of us.
For all his clarity about the day and the hour being unknown, and for all the mystery and disagreement of the order of events down the centuries, Jesus greatly emphasized our need to be looking for his
coming, to be prepared in every possible way. He told the Parable of the Virgins, those who were ready for the coming of their groom and those who were not. He stressed that we must be dressed for
service and busying ourselves with his work.
So what Jesus’ imminent return means for you and me is that we need to keep our eyes trained on righteousness and
the Lord of righteousness. When we take a look at our list of priorities and review our week’s activities… when we plan our next business venture or family adventure… when we choose
what to read and watch and whatever else we will allow access to our brains… when we lay out our time, talent, and treasure for their best use… yes, when we do all these things, we do them
with the ever-present memory that Jesus may walk in the door this very day!
August 14, 2012
Copyright 2012 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.