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Waiting for Jesus Christ’s Return

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Pastor Oliver shares his reflections on waiting during the Christmas season, and encourages us to wait well. Waiting grows our patience, cultivates our desires, and strengthens our heart. 

I love the month of December. Some like December because of Christmas, others look forward to the holidays. I like all the above, but I also like the rains and cooler weather in December. I am waiting for the rain to come. As December–January tends to be the wettest months of the year in Singapore, I trust that I will be rewarded for my wait.

Waiting is a theme for the season of Advent. According to the Christian calendar, Advent is the four-week period before Christmas that celebrates the anticipation and coming of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. The origin of "advent" is from a Latin word that translates "coming" or "arrival". This season is for the church's preparation and celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ, His birth at Christmas. Also, this time is for us to cultivate a waiting for Jesus' return. 

To wait is to anticipate, expect and be on standby. James 5:7-8 encourages believers to wait patiently: "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." 

At Jesus Christ's second coming, He will deliver the people of God, save them, and judge both their enemies and unbelievers. Believers are encouraged to wait for Jesus' return. Just as the farmer waits for his harvest of precious fruit, anticipating the rains that will come to water his crops, believers are to stay expectant. However, what are we to do as we wait?

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As we wait, we grow our patience

Three times in two verses, believers are told to be patient. The farmer waits patiently for the growth and harvest of his produce. He cannot accelerate growth by physically extending the shoots. Sure, he can add fertilisers and use plant growth hormones, but he still has to wait for the crops to grow and be ripe for harvest. Likewise, believers are to wait for Jesus' return, and in the meanwhile, we develop our patience. We wait with a restedness that comes because we know that our God is faithful (Deut 7:9-11, Lam: 3:22-23, 1 Thess 5:23-24). How are you growing your patience as you wait for Jesus to come back again?

As we wait, we cultivate our desire

As the farmer waits for the harvest of his precious fruit, he will anticipate the sweetness of its taste.  Likewise, believers wait for the Lord's coming with eager anticipation. When Jesus comes back, we will be ushered into the new creation, with God's presence with us. There will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain (Rev 21:1-4). We will enjoy the sweetness and pleasure of God's glorious presence forever (Ps 16:11). Knowing that this glorious hope is what awaits us will cultivate our desire for Jesus Christ's return as we cry out, "Come, Lord Jesus!" How are you growing your desire for Jesus' return?

As we wait, we strengthen our hearts

Believers are told to establish your hearts as they wait. To "establish" your heart means to encourage, strengthen and make firm our hearts. We make firm our hearts because of Jesus" imminent return. It will not be long before He comes back (Lk 12:40). When we suffer, and we know that very soon now, we will experience joy forever, our hearts can be strengthened to patiently endure. As we meditate on Jesus coming back again very soon, our hearts would be strengthened to stand firm in whatever circumstances, good or bad, that we face. How are you establishing your hearts as you wait for Jesus Christ?

My friends, in this season of Advent, may you learn to wait patiently, with eagerness for Jesus' return, standing firm in whatever circumstances because of His imminent return.


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WORSHIP SERVICE | SAT 11 DEC, SUN 12 DEC 
Join us for an in-person worship service this weekend. You can register for service here. Livestreaming for both services are also available on our YouTube channel. Let us gather as we look at John 1:19-34 on "The Good News According to John". Pray for God's Spirit to prepare our hearts to hear from God's Word and to change us.


CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE | FRI 24 DEC 2021 | 5PM
Let us come together to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, this Christmas Eve. This will be an evangelistic service, do invite your family and friends to come and hear the Good News of Jesus Christ this Christmas season. You can register at our church's website or through this link: gracebaptistchurch.sg/christmas-eve. Please do sign up early for the service.
Note: Our regular services on Sat (25 Dec) and Sun (26 Dec) will be as usual at 5pm and 9am respectively.


CHRISTMAS LOVE GIFT
Every year at Christmas, we show our love to our missionaries through a “Christmas Love Gift”. Due to the increasing difficulty of sending physical gifts, this token now comprises a monetary gift. The Missions Committee and English Congregation Leadership have agreed to allocate the regular Missions Offering for the period from 11 Dec (Sat) to 24 Dec (Fri) towards this gift. Thank you for giving generously to encourage and appreciate those whom GBC sends out in God’s service.