1 John 2:28 (NKJV)
28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
I am quite a few years away from any sort of schooling now, but I do remember the difference between studying and being ready for a test, and not studying and being unprepared. When I took the time to study, to really prepare, I would go into that test with a certain sense of confidence. The opposite could be said when I didn’t. We are told here that we can have confidence as He makes His triumphant return. Like that test in high school, however, it will take preparation.
He Is Coming
Hebrews 9:28 promises… (28) so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation… Jesus will return, this time, it will be in judgment of a world that has fallen to sin. It is very important to look at those words, the words that explain who He is coming for. He is coming for those who eagerly await Him. Is that where your life is right now? Have you fallen asleep a little in your faith? Has the fire that once burned so bright, now dwindled a bit? I truly pray that each person reading this devotional is truly eagerly waiting on the Lord, if you are not waiting eagerly, I pray this be your wake up call.
Where Does The Confidence Come From?
Confidence comes from truth. When we are arguing from the side of truth, there is a confidence we can have. If we are completely committed to the Lord, we can have a certain confidence in the way this plays out for us. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us… (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord… If we are steadfast and immovable in the Lord, we can have absolute confidence that upon His return, we will be redeemed… Think about that for a moment, redeemed, how awesome is that?
When the Lord comes back will we stand with righteous pride or quiver with shame? Are our lives filled with the godly or the worldly? It is important to understand where you stand. It is important to continually check your heart. Romans 1:28–32 paints a very clear picture of where our hearts cannot be at the return of our Lord… (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (29) being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, (30) backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; (32) who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them… Oh, how we do not want to look like this upon His return!
His return is certain, Jesus has promised that He will return to redeem His people. The question is not whether or not His return will happen, but what our walk and relationship will look like when He does. We must be continually studying our heart, examining our walk, and striving towards a more Christ-like character so that we can have confidence when He returns.
James 1:12 (NKJV)
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.