Dear Wake Up Family and Friends,
As we mourn the loss of our dear Larry, I’m reminded of a subject he wrote about some ten years ago. His counsel was that those who are expecting Jesus’ return should carefully plan with “two tomorrows” in mind.
The first tomorrow is being ready for Jesus to imminently return because, as Paul says, “time is short.” (1 Corinthians 7:29) The second tomorrow is the need to fulfill our earthly obligations and responsibilities. If we are to live happy and productive lives, surely both are necessary, but how does one find the correct balance?
Notice what Larry wrote:
There is one book in the Bible that was written for people facing two tomorrows. It was written by a man who thought Jesus was soon to return. James wrote, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7–8)
James lived at a time in Earth’s history when the two tomorrows presented a tremendous problem. All of the disciples, including James, thought they were living in the last days. Severe persecution caused many of the early believers to be destitute, so the early Christians came together and sold their goods and possessions to share the proceeds with other believers. (Acts 4:32–5:11) As time passed, James began to analyze some of the problems of living with two tomorrows and the Holy Spirit led him to write five short chapters. Read the book of James in one sitting. It can be done in less than thirty minutes. It’s full of wisdom!
If James were writing on this subject today, I am sure he would close with the following admonition: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ ” (James 4:13–15) As long as we live here, we have to be responsible and take care of earthly matters in a way that is pleasing to God. (1 Corinthians 10:31) Do not forget the parable of the talents in Luke 19. We are here to serve a king who will surely return and He will require a return on the money and time He has given us.
Submit all your plans to the Lord and see what He has to say. (This is an essential cornerstone in having a relationship with Jesus.) Our ultimate purpose on this Earth is to please God. God’s timing is perfect and He will fulfill His perfect plans. When He does, everyone will be rewarded according to what they have done.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” (Matthew 25:21) While you are going about the King’s business, just remember the words of Jesus: “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:44)
In closing this month’s letter, I want to leave you with a profound statement that Larry shared. “Don’t ever forget that faith when seen in reverse always makes perfect sense, so press on.” Though Larry is now sleeping, those of us who remain have the responsibility to carry his efforts onward and forward as the Holy Spirit impresses us. Larry would not want us to slow down or be diverted from sharing this message. Pray with us that the Holy Spirit will move hearts to be receptive to it.