by Sheri Schofield
Winter is over. The birds have started coming back. The snow is slowly melting and I can see patches of green starting to show here and there. Soon yellow bells, shooting stars and paschal lilies will start blooming. The land is awakening after a long, cold winter, and soon I’ll be able to trek through the mountain meadows again looking for signs of new life.
Israel went through a long, cold winter once. For over four hundred years, God had been silent. No prophecies of hope. No encouragement from above.
Then one night, an angel appeared in the night sky outside Bethlehem! He did not appear to the town leaders, but rather, to humble shepherds. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” . . . Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:9-14, NLT)
Out of nowhere – in a time of hopelessness – God sent his one and only Son to redeem the world from sin and the power of the devil.
We find ourselves once again in a time of spiritual hopelessness. So many in our nation have turned their backs on Jesus. Oh, yes, there was a time of excitement when some of the Christian leaders began talking about the signs of his return to earth. They got everyone’s hopes up. One leader declared that Jesus would be here by 1980. Then the year 2000 was supposed to be the big year. But now we find ourselves in 2019, and few are talking about the return of Jesus anymore. The years of anticipation seem to be gone, except for a few who are still looking for signs of his coming.
How do we keep that hope alive after so much hyped up enthusiasm and disappointment?
The people of Jerusalem in Jesus’ day thought that the kingdom of God was going to come at once. But when Jesus approached the city, he told them a parable:
“A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back’” (Luke 19:12,13 NLT).
When the king returned, only two of the servants had invested the money that had been entrusted to them. They were rewarded with the great responsibility of presiding over cities in the kingdom. But the servants who had failed to follow his instruction were reprimanded, and the money he had given them was taken away.
It has now been over 2,000 years since Jesus told that parable. Remember, the servants were to wisely invest “until I come back.” He is coming. But while that coming is imminent, He does not ask us to live on the edge of excitement, trying to predict when he will return. No. He wants us to serve him, to use the gifts he has given us to build the kingdom. . . until he returns.
God does not count time the way we do. His priority is giving each soul a chance to come to him. But some ordinary day when nobody is expecting him, Jesus will burst into the scene and every eye shall see him come! Let’s use our time and gifts wisely to bring Him glory until He does.
Out of winter will burst full spring, and winter will be over forever!
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ “ Revelation 21:2-4 NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield, is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
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