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Welcoming Christ from a distance

One of the highlights of my day is arriving home from work, walking toward the house, and seeing bright little eyes peering out the window with a nose smashed against the glass. Often there are shrieks and giggles as the kids scurry off to hide and surprise me. Daddy’s home!” my wife exclaims. Moments like this make me so thankful to be a dad.

It’s interesting that even before the door opens and I hug my family that a kind of ‘welcome home’ party has begun. We’ve greeted each other in our hearts, though still at a distance. And that is precisely how we should treat the return of Jesus.

Hebrews 11 describes many of the heroes of the faith who caught a glimpse of future joy, but didn’t immediately obtain it. Many endured great suffering in this present world. We learn of men and women like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Rahab. What these people shared in common was that all “died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb. 11:13).

In other words, their noses were firmly pressed against the glass. The promises of God had become so real to them that they actually greeted them in their hearts. They gazed expectantly at the coming of Jesus the Messiah with all His promised blessing.

How’s your faith in God? Do you spend most of your time focused on the worries of this life, or on the hope of heaven? Are the cares of this world smudging the glass, or are you peering out expectantly at Christ’s return?

Remember, there is a free gift of salvation to everyone who will turn from their sin and trust in Jesus’ death. His rising from the dead is proof we can be forgiven and spend eternity with God. 1 Peter 1:8 says “though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” Does that perspective describe you?

Very soon, we will see Him with our own eyes, and all who have truly trusted in Jesus will get to spend eternity with Him. The welcome home party is about to begin!

This article first appeared in today's Minister's Message of our local newspaper, the Hi Desert Star.

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