FIND YOUR PLACE IN THE STORY OF GOD’S PEOPLE

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BEING HIS BODY AND HIS BRIDE

"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." – John 14:3

Think about what it means to be His body and His bride—and what these images convey with regard to the future of Christ's church. What does our relationship with Him look like as we anticipate His return? Through these metaphors, the Lord is inviting us to join in His mission as He works through each one of us to establish His kingdom.

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WAITING FAITHFULLY AND DILIGENTLY



Do you ever ask, “When will Jesus Christ return to Earth?” Jesus' disciples wondered the same thing, but He reassured them that He would come again. Watch Dr. Stanley's sermon "Anticipating the Lord's Return" to learn how we should make every day count by waiting expectantly for the Lord to come back for His beloved.

THE DEEPER MEANING BEHIND CHRISTMAS

One of the wonders of the Christmas story is the detail Scripture provides. It's tempting to limit the scope of God's plan, reducing it to nativity plays or tidy scenes on greeting cards, but we should never overlook the bigger picture of what He was doing in the world at that time.

Read “In the Fullness of Time” by Charles F. Stanley to discover how we can look beyond the marvelous details of the Christmas story and anticipate our glorious destiny upon His return.

CONSIDERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD

In the book of Matthew, the kingdom of heaven is compared to "a treasure hidden in the field" and "a merchant seeking fine pearls." Read the parables in Matthew 13:44-46 aloud and reflect on them by asking yourself this important question: have you ever thought of Christ as your treasure?


"The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it."


LONGING FOR HIS RETURN

This month, we meditated on the future of the church, from our role as Christ's bride and what He desires for the church, to how we might live our life now, looking ahead to His return. Use this prayer to help remind yourself of how we are to love and be loved by Jesus:

"Heavenly Father, thank You for the love and sacrifice You have poured out for Your church. Teach me how to focus on Your glory in the present moment and stay faithful to You, that I might play my part and help the whole church find renewal in You. Fill us with the joy of the Holy Spirit as we anticipate an eternal and perfect union with Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, help us grow in our understanding of Jesus as the Bridegroom so that we might be filled with all the fullness of God. Grant us a measure of Your hope and peace, no matter how uncertain the future may seem. Bless those who gather together in Your name—both in the local church and around the world. Amen."