To the Word

Reflections on the call to live by the Word of God

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Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee, United States

Monday, September 27, 2004

Coming ‘Round Again

Ever since Camille rained out my family’s vacation in 1969, I’ve had an interest in hurricanes. And never in thirty-five years have I heard of anything like what’s happened this month with Hurricane Ivan. Ten days ago Ivan slammed into the Alabama coast as a dangerous hurricane and proceeded to drench much of the Southeast as it lumbered up into our area and then back out into the Atlantic. Then, after ol’ Ivan had disappeared from most of our radar screens, he circled back and appeared again in the Gulf of Mexico. This time he wasn’t as fearsome, but then again he wasn’t gone, either.

Sudden, unexpected reappearances aren’t limited to the weather. Looking back over church history, for example, we can see how the same sins and false doctrines keep popping up again and again to batter the church, even after they seem to have been defeated. In the same way, we may struggle with sins in our personal lives that appear out of nowhere, even after we think we’ve put them away. None of this should surprise us, of course. The Apostle Peter warned Christians to “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour” (1 Pe. 5:8).

The good news is that God works in sudden, unexpected reapperances, too. Our faith is built on the sudden reappearance of Jesus, alive from the grave. He died to take our punishment for sin, and he rose to give us new life with him. God’s Holy Spirit still moves in unexpected ways, too (Jn 3:8), bringing new life and renewal to those who turn to God in faith.

Christians also have one more unexpected reappearance to look forward to. When Jesus returns to claim his own, to form a new heaven and a new earth, that day will come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2). Many of us don’t like surprises. But the return of our Lord, however surprising it will be, is one Christians should eagerly await with the hopeful call, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Copyright 2004, A. Milton Stanley


Blogger Doug Floyd said...

Yes. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Our discussion Sunday on Psalm 130 ended with the cry: Maranatha!

9:24 AM  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...


6:19 PM  

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