I know I’ve said it before, but I really like the book of James. As I was reading through it today, there were a lot of verses that stood out to me. Some old, some new. While I always like it when there’s something new, there’s something cool about reading a verse I’ve thought a lot about and seeing it anew.

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

James 5:8 (NIV)

In the previous verse, James writes:

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

James 5:7 (NIV)

James has been telling the people to be patient in their suffering because the Lord is coming. This is what he repeats in verse 8. The Lord’s coming is near. When I read this verse, I wondered if James believed that the Lord was returning in his lifetime, or did he mean something else?

As I was studying the verse, looking into other translations, and such, this is what occurred to me.

Why shouldn’t we believe that James thought the Lord was soon to return? Aren’t we supposed to have faith that Jesus is returning soon? Isn’t that how we should be living? When Jesus was asked about His return, what did He say?

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’”

Matthew 24:45-48 (NIV)

He brings up those who are servants in a house. Do we get ready for the Masters’ return? If He seems to be a long time coming, do we start doing other things? Or are we on our guard so that when He does return, we are ready to serve Him?

It doesn’t make sense to say James was talking metaphorically or that he was not thinking about the day of the Lord’s return, or that he was saying something other than what we read here in the text. I know when I talk about the Lord’s coming, I say it doesn’t really matter if He’s coming in a week, a month, a year, or 500 years. We are all called into judgment when we die. Perhaps what I’m thinking is it does matter, but we ought not to be worried about it or spend a great deal of time thinking about it. For some, it will be a terrible day of Judgment, for others, a glorious reunion.

Therefore, we who are saved ought to live lives in preparation for His return, for it may be tomorrow, or we may die tomorrow. Our expectation ought to be that we might see Him soon, whether it be the Second Coming or being called home. For those who do not know the Lord, the best time to come to know him is right now. For tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us. Indeed, the next 5 or even the next 20 minutes, aren’t guaranteed to us. The very breath you are taking right now could be your last.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.