Jesus Christ's Return, The Early Church

Maranatha

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“O Lord, Come”

 

The word maranatha has been around in Christian circles for centuries. Some even use it for their businesses, and church names. I had never given the word maranatha much thought until I saw the footnote in my Bible last year. How I overlooked it all these years is beyond me. Once I understood the meaning and significance it was an encouragement, and I hope it will be to you as well.

In Aramaic the word marana tha translates to “our Lord comes” or is “coming”. Maranatha occurs only once in the Bible.¹

If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!”   1 Corinthians 16:22, NKJV 

Strong words for those who don’t love Jesus. The word accursed is translated from the Greek word anathema. This was the third level of three levels of discipline for the ancient Jews. Anathema meant that the Jew being disciplined was no longer counted as a Jew and would never be reconciled to the synagogue.²

After this dire warning about your soul being cursed for not loving Jesus, Paul ends with maranatha.

Paul used an Aramaic word, maranatha, in a letter to a Greek church. He was sending a message of hope to the early church. Maranatha was an encouragement to fellow Christians enduring terrible persecution under Roman rule. It reminded them that Jesus Christ was coming back for them.

The early Christians were severely persecuted by the Romans since they refused to declare Ceasar was god. This meant death for the Christian. Maranatha became a common greeting of that day. The Lord will return and their suffering will end. The early church expected Jesus to return at any moment and we should too.

Jesus Christ is coming back for His church.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3, NIV 

Early Christians took loving Jesus and His imminent return very serious. They laid everything down, even their lives to love, serve, and follow Jesus. There was an excitement about the return of Christ.

The 18th Century evangelist George Whitfield attests to his “Maranatha Mindset” writing:

“Let that cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” (Matthew 25:6) be continually sounding in your ears, and begin now to live as though you were assured that this night you were to go forth to meet Him. (And all God’s people cry “Amen!”)³

Whatever you are facing today, Jesus sees you and is with you. Your suffering will end. I say “Maranatha” to you. Jesus will right every wrong. We will be with Him in heaven for all of eternity. So hold on friend. Keep trusting. Keep believing. This world is not our home.

As Christians, may we live with excitement and great anticipation of the return of Lord Jesus. Maranatha!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

  1. https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/maranatha/
  2. https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/1-corinthians-16/
  3. https://www.preceptaustin.org/maranatha
Faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Live for Today

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Today you have been given a gift. The gift of time. There are 1440 minutes in your gift. You and I get this precious gift of time, each and every day.

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.        Psalm 118:24, ESV 

God made our days and He numbered them.

Lord, reveal to me the end of my life
and the number of my days.
Let me know how short-lived I am.
 You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.Selah    Psalm 39:4-5, HCSB

How much time do we waste each day? I don’t believe the goal is to fill every single minute with non-stop activity. We’ve all got necassary day-to-day duties that are unavoidable. Sleep takes up a certain amount of our hours. Work. Other daily responsibilities like cooking, errands, caring for our families, and a long list of daily tasks fill our routines. And yes, there should be a little down time each day, to recharge your batteries.

    A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.   Job 14:5, NIV

So, if God ordained our days, and He ordained our lives, then He knows we have normal routine stuff that needs to take place. He also has ordained big and small events in our lives every day; that give us opportunities to make a difference for His Kingdom.

This is not the Carpe Diem trendy thinking of our culture. Seize the day is associated with self. Go for it. Take everything you can from each day. This type of thinking says the day is yours. As Christians, each day is a gift from the Lord that He made, and it’s not all ours for the taking.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10, NIV

God has Kingdom work for us to accomplish. And we need Him to do what He’s called us to. Maybe you don’t know your specific calling yet. Start asking God what He has you here for. Each of us has a unique purpose. In the meantime, look for daily small moments to share the love of Jesus. Working hard to provide for your family matters. Cooking a meal for your family is loving. Going to the grocery store and getting food and other essentials is important. We’re human and we need food. Being kind to the checker at the store. Helping an elderly shopper with reaching an item. (Maybe after the covid19 6 feet away craziness is over.)

There are moments each day that we can make a difference. Praying for someone, sharing the Gospel, helping a neighbor. Giving a friend a ride. Listening to your children’s ideas and hopes. Encouraging your spouse. Forgiving that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Love God. Love your family. Love strangers you cross paths with. Love your annoying neighbor.

These are not easy on our own. They are impossible in our own abilities. We need filled up before we can overflow with the love of Christ.

Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34, NIV

We are all very aware we’ve got enough to deal with today. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. We are supposed to live in today. We can still make plans, and pray about future events, and circumstances. But, we are to leave those at Jesus feet and get on with our day. I know, that’s super difficult. At least for me it is.

Give each day the care it deserves. It may not be flashy but it is a gift from the Lord. Every day is not some thrill ride. Many days can be mundane and quite ordinary, but God ordained them. Thank Him for each day.

Thank God on the good days.

Thank God on the awful days.

Thank God every single day. He made it just for you.

Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Today would be a great day to accept His free gift of salvation. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Go to my contact page and email me if you need prayer.