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ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THE BLESSED HOPE?

September 30, 2012

In Ttitus 2:12-note Paul says that the “GRACE OF GOD” (Titus 2:11-note) is continually “instructing (training) us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age (speaking of the process of sanctification,present tense living,” wherein the Spirit daily sets believers apart from the world and unto God, continually transforming us from glory to glory into the image of Jesus [2Cor 3:18-note], as we take in His Word of Truth [Jn 17:17-note, 1Pe 2:2-note] and yield to His filling [What “fills”us will control us! Eph 5:18-note] for the supernatural power and grace to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [Col 1:10-note]).

Then in Titus 2:13-note Paul describes the “FUTURE TENSE MOTIVATION” to encourage “PRESENT TENSE LIVING,” writing that we are “LOOKING FOR (Greek verb = Continually looking with a sense of earnest expectation, looking forward to with longing, waiting eagerly for) the BLESSED HOPE and the APPEARING of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” The BLESSED HOPE is synonymous with the APPEARING and vis not so much an event as it is a Person “Christ Jesus, our HOPE” (1Ti 1:1). John adds that when “He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is (“future tense motivation”), therefore everyone who has this HOPE, fixed on Him, purifies himself (“present tense living”) just as He is pure (1Jn 3:2note, 3:3-note).

 R A Torrey said “The imminent return of our Lord is the great Bible argument for a pure, unselfish, devoted, unworldly, active life of (Spirit enabled) service.” Indeed, EXPECTANT LOOKING is God’s “antidote” for APATHETIC LIVING! Since He may come ANY day, it is well to be ready EVERY day.

Adoniram Judson wrote these convicting words

A life once spent is irrevocable. It will remain to be contemplated through eternity. The same may be said of each day. When it is once past, it is gone forever. All the marks which we put upon it, it will exhibit forever. Each day will not only be a witness of our conduct, but will affect our everlasting destiny. How shall we then wish to see each day marked with usefulness?! It is too late to mend the days that are past. The future is in our power. Let us, then, each morning, resolve (Ed: as you surrender to and are enabled by the Holy Spirit) to send the day into eternity in such a garb as we shall wish it to wear forever.

D L Moody said “I never preach a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another.” Indeed, the certainty of the appearing of the glory of Christ, should touch and tincture every part of our daily behavior! We should be looking with eyes of faith (cf 2Co 5:7-note, 2Co 4:18-note), a faith which rests firmly upon our faithful God and His trustworthy Word.

Augustine said that “He who loves the Coming of the Lord is not he who affirms it is far off, nor…near. It is he who, whether it be far or near, awaits it with sincere FAITH, steadfast HOPE and fervent LOVE.” FAITH is that which lays holds of God’s promises, while HOPE is that spiritual grace which sustains the heart until the PROMISE is “received.”

W H Griffith Thomas adds that

FAITH rests on the past, LOVE works in the present and HOPE presses toward the future. FAITH looks backward and upward, LOVE looks outward and HOPE looks forward. These three constitute the true, complete Christian life and not one of them should be omitted or slighted. We are only too apt to emphasize FAITH and LOVE and forget HOPE but, inasmuch as HOPE is invariably connected with the SECOND COMING of the Lord, that BLESSED HOPE, it is a vital part of our Christian life. FAITH accepts, HOPE expects; FAITH appropriates, HOPE anticipates; FAITH receives, HOPE realizes; FAITH is always and only concerned with the past & present, HOPE is always and only concerned with the FUTURE. FAITH is concerned with a Person Who promises, HOPE with the thing (“Person”) promised. FAITH is the root of which HOPE is a fruit.

C S Lewis said “Precisely because we cannot predict the moment, we must be ready at all moments” as illustrated by this story…

A tourist visiting an exquisite Italian garden asked the caretaker “How long have you been here?” “25 yrs.” “How often has the owner come to his estate?” “4 times.” “When did he come last?” “12 yrs ago.” “Who looks after things?” “I am left pretty much alone.” “Yet you keep the garden so meticulous that one would think you were expecting the owner tomorrow.” “Today, sir, today!” replied the caretaker. ”Perhaps today!”

PERHAPS
TODAY!

J C Ryle rightly said that “Uncertainty about the date of the Lord’s return is calculated to keep believers in an attitude of constant expectation and to preserve them from despondency.” Our Blessed Hope is indeed our Blessed Assurance, a great hymn of the faith penned by Fanny Crosby who was physically blind but was still expectantly “looking above”, looking for Jesus with eyes of faith, the eyes of an enlightened heart (Eph 1:18-note) which enabled her to write these amazing words, “paradoxical” words in view of  her blindness…

BLESSED ASSURANCE
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest, 
WATCHING AND WAITING, LOOKING ABOVE,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

RELATED RESOURCES:
TITUS 2:13 COMMENTARY
TITUS 2:12 COMMENTARY
TITUS 2:11 COMMENTARY
JOHN PIPER – “DON’T WASTE YOUR LIFE”

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2 Comments
  1. I look for the blessed hope every day, every waking hour.

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  1. THOUGHTS ON A “MARANATHA MINDSET” « preceptaustin

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