Getting ready for the Return of Christ will take clear thinking. As I summarized previously in this series, the scriptures that relate to that magnificent event are vital. Jesus Himself and the Apostle Paul both encourage us to watch our thoughts because they lead to actions. Jesus said that your mouth gives you away. Your heart contains your thoughts and attitudes, good and bad, and you speak from it. That should give you reason to pause for a moment and reflect on what you say. Now I know that many of us can filter our words and look pretty good when things are going smoothly, however, what are your words like when you get angry, frustrated, or disappointed? That is what is in your heart.
Jesus encourages us to do several things to keep our thinking clear and our heart pure: repent quickly and forgive quickly. God knows that we miss the mark of holiness every day, sometimes every hour, but He is also waiting to forgive you when you look at yourself honestly, desire to change, and confess your shortcoming. That is music to His ears and that brings lasting change. In the same way, when someone offends you, it’s vital for you to forgive them. Forgiveness brings peace to your heart and no place for the devil to plant seeds that will grow into bitter roots. Your success in these two actions, repentance and forgiveness, will show you what’s in your heart and help you to walk blameless before Him but it takes self-control and desire.
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. (1 Peter 1:13 NLT)
And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame. (1 John 2:28 NLT)
Let’s continue to prepare ourselves and our families for the Return of Christ, no matter when it happens, so that we have assurance that we will stand strong. Our marriages need this, our children and grandchildren need this, and our churches need this. Repent and forgive quickly: make this your goal in life.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT)