Psalm 102:16 – When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory. (KJV)
There's a sign on the side of the road coming into a small town in northwest Florida. It's been there for years, with a simple statement to those who drive by: "Jesus loves you. He's coming soon." Nestled in the trees and shrubs, it could almost be missed, but it's close to the road and the words are clear. The woman who placed the small sign there is already in heaven. She is my husband's mother, and her words are still there for travellers on life's journey. Not many of the family live there now, so we go from time to time to clean the sign and make sure it can be seen by passersby. We hope there may be still another who catches the message that "Jesus loves you."
As tumult roars about our nations and our world on every side, it is obvious that there are not enough people in the world who know the reality of Jesus and His love. We sing the song, I love to tell the story, but to how many have we actually told the story? How many who do not know Jesus have heard the story? So often we find ourselves "singing to the choir", when it's not the choir who needs to hear. Or is it? Could it be the reason the world is so deprived of God's love is that we, who are the church, still do not truly know the love of the Lord? Have we learned a formula that seems to work, but often misses the mark? Has the world missed our message of the gospel — or have we missed something in its telling?
Jesus prayed for His disciples shortly before His death. He also prayed for us: "that they may be one, even as we are one." (John 17:22 KJV) That oneness is what will bring the world into God's kingdom and out of the bleak darkness of today's despair and unhappiness. The vacuum in people's lives that leads them into the darkness of alcohol, drugs, crime and eventual spiritual death can only be dispelled by something far greater. When many who are the truly lost see the "truly loved of Christ", they will surely come running to the truth that can set them free! They will know it's real. It's all within the love we develop ourselves by having an ongoing and loving relationship with our Lord.
He's coming soon! "Soon" may be today, tomorrow or years down the road. We can have the opportunity to share that message with someone today — if we will ask the Lord to arrange it! Tomorrow may be too late, and someone could be left out because we failed to speak a word of love and encouragement to them. Heaven is coming soon. Let's try to fill it up fast while the sun still shines!
Prayer: Father, help us get the message out to the highways and byways where the need to know your love is so great. Help us also to know the love of Jesus Christ in ways we may have never known before, and give us the strong desire to make His name known to those in our world. Amen.