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What Are You Really Hoping For?

For the past seven weeks Tea Time For Your Soul has been focusing of the seven areas of our lives that God rewards. The seven areas are:

  1. How I spend/use my money (Matthew 6:19-21)
  2. Spiritual Disciplines I practice (Matthew 6:5-8, 1 Corinthians 9:17, 1 Corinthians 4:5)
  3. My relationships (Matthew 10:40-42, Luke 14:12-14, Mark 9:41, Luke 6:32-36, 1 Thess. 2:19-20, Hebrews 6:10)
  4. How I stand up for my faith (Matthew 5:11-12, Luke 6:22-23, Rev. 2:10, James 1:12)
  5. How I dedicate everything I do to Him (Colossians 3:23-25, Romans 12:1)
  6. How I treasure God's word (2 John 1:7-8)
  7. How diligent I am in awaiting His coming (2 Timothy 4:8, Luke 12:35-48, 16:1-12, Mark 13:32-37)

If you are busy practicing one through six, you will automatically be going about number seven. When you are living your life, anticipating Jesus' second coming, you will be focusing on steps one through six. If you have been thoughtfully changing your life priorities through these weeks, this last priority will be already in place in your life.

Jesus told us about the great feast (Rev.19:9). We know it is something that He is anticipating with great pleasure. He mentioned it to the disciples the night He gave us the sacrament of the Lord's supper. He told them He would not eat this bread or drink this cup again until we are all with Him in heaven. (Luke 22:15-16) Don't you know that He hopes for that day? Do you have the same kind of anticipation for that day as He does?

He has sent out the invitations to this heavenly feast by way of the Holy Spirit. When you accept Jesus Christ as you Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you and by receiving Him, you accept the invitation to the great Feast in heaven. Jesus told a parable about being ready to go to the feast in Luke 14:15-24. The Pharisees, to whom He was speaking, had been invited to the Great Feast of Heaven. They had accepted God's invitation with their words, but Jesus wanted to show them that they were not really going to be there by telling this story. He told how a rich man sent out invitations to a feast. Everyone accepted the invitation, but when the feast was ready and the rich man sent his servant to tell the guests, every one of them had an excuse. One said that he had just bought a field and had business to attend to, another told that he had just bought five oxen that he needed to try out, and the third said he had just gotten married. Because of their excuses the servant was sent out again, this time to bring the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame, when there was still room, he was sent to get everyone who wanted to come in, until the banquet was full and there was no room left. The ones who had made excuses would not be able to come.

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, who thought it was a sure thing that they would be in heaven. After all, they were the religious leaders of their day, everyone expected that they would be there. They were invited, but they didn't come. The reasons they didn't come could be the same reasons you aren't watching for His second coming. Do you want to think about the seven areas of your life that God rewards, but you are too busy with your business dealings, like the one whose excuse was buying a field? Perhaps you can't watch for his coming because you need to try out your latest buy and materialism and consumerism is getting in the way of sharing your faith, using your money for kingdom work, or taking time to meet people's needs. Is it your human relationships that are more important than glorifying God, practicing spiritual disciplines, or studying God's word? Paul told us in 2 Timothy 4:8, Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. Show God that you are longing for His appearing by the way you live your life today.



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