Links Daily Devotional

The Eve and the Day

Henceforth there is laid up 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 loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8, ESV)

Tomorrow is the day.

Beginning not much past the crack of dawn, 156 players will vie for the national championship of the United States. There are other such championships for women and amateur and juniors and seniors and now even teammates. But this is the one that garners the most attention. It is the oldest, it begins with the most participants, and it is watched around the world. This is the U.S. Open.

And that makes today the eve of the day.

These are the final hours for preparation. The golfers are getting a last circuit in around the course, they are honing the particular skills that will be demanded at Chambers Bay, and they are already doing what they can to control the beating of their anxious hearts. Meanwhile, fans who will be on site are planning their morning drives and their desired locations. And the commentators—well, soon they can stop talking about what might be and begin presenting what is.

I don’t know that this overall scenario reminds you of Scripture, but I hope so. In fact, hope sits as the principal idea in this whole conversation.

In Scripture, the Day—and yes, it is often capitalized by the translators—is the day of Christ’s return. I was once asked by a participant in a retreat where I was speaking whether I believed that Jesus is coming back. When I said yes, she replied, “That’s good. Many of my friends don’t believe it.”

I find that sad. Sad because it arrests our greatest hope. Sad because it leaves out the repeated idea of Scripture about the Day.

Notice, I did not say exactly what I think the Day will look like. Different thinking about eschatology (the end times) has confused many Christians and left them behind—there’s an irony!—when it comes to recognizing what is most important about that Day.

And here is what is most important, in two parts:

1. It is going to happen. Jesus is going to return and consummate the fullness of his kingdom.

2. We should be preparing for it, like those bearing great hope on the eve of any special event.

Now I know this may not be the literal eve of Christ’s return. But the writers of Scripture always saw that return as imminent, and they always encouraged their readers to hold out hope and anticipation for that Day.

Let’s ride with Scripture, then. Let’s anticipate the Day of Jesus’ glorious coming with the greatest of expectations. Let’s be eager in our faith and hope in him.

Jeff Hopper
June 17, 2015
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