Anticipation of what’s to come has an amazing ability to impact our attitudes and actions in the present. Imagine all the possible responses for a student getting ready to go back to school. Some might be moved with great joy and excitement and others might fight despair as they say “goodbye” to summer vacation. One day this summer, our family had a special outing planned. The excitement was obvious with everyone’s demeanor. There was an extra sense of urgency to get the morning chores done and to help get the family packed up and ready to go. Everyone was anticipating a special day. They weren’t experiencing the special day yet, but just the anticipation of the special day was impacting their attitudes and actions in the present.
The last book of the Bible, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, presents details concerning some future events. But these details are not given just so that we can have knowledge of what’s next, but rather so that our lives can be changed in the present as we anticipate what is yet to come! You see, most of us like to know what’s next. Whether it is the next work responsibility that we need to fulfill, or the next ride that we will ride at the amusement park, or the upcoming schedule for the next day, we have a tendency to like to know what is next! But knowing what is next is not what is most important. Rather, using the knowledge to help us prepare for what is next is extremely valuable. That is why in sports the ability of athletes to anticipate is vital to success. They know where the ball will be going, and they will be prepared to help their team succeed. In the book of Revelation, The Lord saw fit to tell us some important events that are coming as we move towards eternity. And He told us about these events long before they would happen. One of the reasons is so that we will live with the end in view. As we anticipate what is coming, we will be arranging our lives in the present so that we are prepared for what is coming down the road.
Knowledge of what is next helps us to anticipate. If you don’t know where you are going, it will be hard to be prepared when you get there. That is one reason we like to ask the question, “What’s next?” It also provides a reason to attend our Sunday Night Service as we start a new series on September 9th entitled, “What’s Next: Living with the End in View.” This will be an inductive study through the book of Revelation. Our lessons on Wednesday nights during LIFE Night (starting September 12th) will complement the Sunday night study. So make plans now to come and learn what the Lord teaches about what is next. And as you apply this study by anticipating what is to come, your attitudes and actions will be changed for the glory of God.
Also, if the Lord doesn’t return, there are many other enriching ministry and learning opportunities that you will see promoted on the Calendar. I would encourage you to read them, and then anticipate their coming by preparing your heart and your schedule so that you can attend and be blessed!