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Be Eager For The Lord

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A psalmist pleads with the Lord to come to his aid for men are “eager to take my life” (Ps. 56:6). By contrast, the Apostle Peter reminds his readers that, “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (I Peter 3:12).1 Therefore, he can confidently say,

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (I Peter 3:13-15a)

Christians may take heart when troubles arise, for the Lord is available to protect or deliver his saints. As E. Schuyler English has said, “We should not fear the terror of our enemies or be troubled by suffering for righteousness’ sake. Nothing can touch the child of God outside of His permissive will.”2 Accordingly, Titus charges his readers to live faithfully while they wait,

For the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14)

The scriptural teaching about being eager to do good is enlarged by recalling Paul’s words to the Romans:

I am obligated both to the Greeks and the non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome. (Rom. 1:14-15)

Indeed, Paul’s desire and need for ministering the gospel is disclosed in the very next verses:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: the righteous will live by faith. (Rom. 1:16-17)

Herein Paul discloses the reason for the effectiveness of the gospel. The Apostle Peter points out that Christian leaders must be “Willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you; but be examples to the flock”. (I Peter 5:2-3) May it be said of all of us that from our in most thoughts and desires we are eager to serve the Lord -- not just for our good but in order to be faithful servants of God (cf. I Cor. 14:1). Whoever loves the Lord and is dedicated to His service, his inmost, overwhelmingly loving desire will be to receive and utilize spiritual gifts. For such is to the unwavering ministry of the Word of God, as well as being concerned for the spiritual condition of others.

Paul could praise the Corinthian believers for their eagerness to help and give (e.g., I For. 9:2). Not only that, Paul also tells the Corinthians that he was sending to them a brother in the Lord who was subordinate to Titus, for he was:

Praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. (II Cor. 8:18-19)

This text also points to the fact that Paul himself was concerned for the believers in Corinth, as indeed he was for all of those in other churches.

May this be said also of today’s Christians as we follow Paul’s testimony of waiting, “for Jesus Christ to be revealed” (I Cor. 1:7). May we ourselves not only be patient as we wait for Christ’s glorious return, but meanwhile be eager to sere the Lord. As the hymn writer puts it:

Jesus is coming to earth again – What if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign – What if it were today?
Coming to claim His chosen bride, all the redeemed and purified,
Over this whole earth scattered wide – What if it were today?
Glory, Glory! Joy to my heart ‘twill bring;
Glory, Glory when we shall crown Him King;
Glory! Glory! Haste to prepare the way;
Glory, Glory! Jesus will come someday.3

1 All scripture citations are taken from the NIV.

2 E. Schuyler English, “The Life and Letters of Saint Peter”, (New York: Publication Office “Our Hope”, 1943), 200.

3 Lelia N. Morris, “What If It Were Today?”

Related Topics: Devotionals

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