In our conversation at SVA this weekend on the return of Christ, one area we discussed was how followers of Christ are to live and engage the world while waiting for His return. Three key thoughts we discussed were that we needed to:

  • Stay Awake…His return is imminent, He could come back at any moment so we need to be ready. Every person is responsible for their faith and relationship with God. You can’t live on someone else’s faith…You can’t but or work your way into the kingdom…and when Christ returns, there are no more chances. In light of this we need to make sure that our lives are connected to God through Christ. His grace is waiting for everyone…there is nothing you need to do, figure out, or clean up before you come to God…simply come. 

  • Stay Engaged…God has given everyone a purpose and mission to live out. The followers of Jesus are not to “bunker-in” and disengage from life, but rather, we are to invest all that God has given us to make a positive impact for His kingdom with every breath that we have. If you are still breathing, you still have a purpose and mission to fulfill. 

  • Stay Missional…As you read the parables of Christ it quickly becomes apparent that those who follow Jesus live in such a way that mercy, grace, justice and compassion are not just deeds that they do, but rather a lifestyle that they live. When we are tethered to Jesus and when we long for His presence in our lives, there is a transformation that takes place deep within us. This transformation is birthed from God’s love releasing mercy and grace like a burgeoning river breaking through a dike.

For me, the Second Coming of Christ comes down to a question of love… If I truly love Jesus with all that is within me, I will long to be with Him, and in the meantime that love will propel me to live in such a way that other’s long for His return as well. The contagion of love creates a Christ-reality and at the same time waits for a Christ-reality.

Love is a verb…

Love requires expression…

Love is why Jesus is coming back…

Love is the means and the method to reach seekers…

Love is the definitive mark for those who follow Jesus… 

When we allow God to perform a heart transplant within us,  our motivation to share Christ with others moves from religiosity to compassion expressed through love.

This reminds me of the closing scene from Schindler’s List where Oskar Schindler had purchased the lives of 1100+ Jews from concentration camps to work in his factory during WW II. Initially he saw the use of Jewish prisoners as a way to make great profits, but something happend…he changed…his heart changed…those Jewish prisoners became people who mattered and Oskar’s profiteering turned to redemption.

Even though Oskar did so much, spending his income to purchase/redeem those 1100 Jews from a certain death…he knew it wasn’t enough and he could have done more.

When it’s all said and done, and we stand before God I hope we can all know we made a difference.

We are here to help people find their way back to God.

Here’s that final scene from Schindler’s List…

1 Comment

  1. Chris’ uncle produced Shindlers List. Many years ago he shared with us about some of the emotional trial and difficulty of filming that movie had on him. He had a standing weekly phone conversation with Robin Williams during shooting, so that he could laugh and cheer himself up. Even so, he came out with a similar take – he was just telling a story without the true experience of living it. To find such grace and yearning to save as many as he could during such a dark time was the entire point of the movie. It impacted his life greatly. He went on to produce other grace and faith-based pictures, many of which included dark, horrible times in history and the lives of those he was filming about. Grace and Love in the midst of darkness. Too many analogies to even consider!

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