Oh, the anticipation! As the grandparent of seven precious gems, I can attest to the fact that at just the thought of one of those grandchildren returning to the Winkle homestead for a visit sets this old girl’s heart afire. This is especially true regarding those children who are separated from us by means of a great distance. When I see those dearly missed faces appear at the door, finally face-to-face after months of absence, the joy flooding my heart is overwhelming to say the least.
Young Timothy shared a unique relationship with his mentor, the apostle Paul. Paul had invested years tutoring and training this convert of Christ, his “own son in the faith,” instructing him in “the glorious gospel of the blessed God,” encouraging him to “continue in the things which (he) had been assured of,” and exhorting him to take that gospel story and commit that message to “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Paul’s two letters to his dedicated co-worker are so jam-packed with instruction on worship, leadership roles within the church, the dangers of false teachings, and areas of conflict that would arise within the local assembly of believers that his letters at times resemble a hands-on building manual for the early church. But buried amidst these instructional passages is one of the most majestic, yet overlooked, doxologies to be found anywhere within the pages of Scripture. What thought would transport the apostle Paul from words of instruction, exhortation, and warning into a glorious song of praise to the God of glory?
Paul encourages Timothy to “follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness,” and to “Fight the good fight of faith,” to “keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, unto the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And there it is, for at the mere mention of the return of the King of glory, Paul would instantly be catapulted into worship mode. Paul’s knew that his Savior, Shepherd, and dearest Friend was coming back; he would see his King again, and the aged apostle could not contain his reverence and awe for “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” That One Who appeared to him on the road to Damascus so many years ago and changed his life in a miraculous moment of time would return; Paul would look upon Him again, and the apostle was overwhelmed by just the thought of that jubilant day to come.
What a glorious experience to hear the footsteps of my grandchildren on our back deck, to open the back door and to embrace them in my arms once again! But all earthly joys pale when I consider that day when the sound of the trumpet of God shall pierce the sky, and “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel.” I will finally see the One Who was born in a manger, lived a perfect life, died a brutal death upon the cross for my sin, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and rose in victory over the grave, the Lamb of glory, my Savior and Friend. I will join that heavenly choir gathered around the throne of glory and sing my own doxology of praise to the One Who is so deserving of my humble worship.
When the days seem overcast and the trials overwhelming, I look toward the heavens and consider that wondrous day. I anticipate the face-to-face reunion with those who have gone on to glory before me. I ponder a place of no more tears, no more sin, no more pain, a place of total peace and rest. But at just the thought of seeing my Friend, the One Who has redeemed me, sustained me, carried me, and sanctified me, my eyes well up with tears, my spirit soars, and voice sings out in praise to that “blessed and only Potentate.”
I Timothy 6:14-16 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
What a day that will be, When my Jesus I shall see; And I look upon His face, the One Who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand, and leads me through the Promised Land; What a day, glorious day, that will be!
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