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Pastor's Devotional Thoughts

On Monday afternoon, Hyemi and I brought our camping chairs out to the driveway and put on our eclipse sunglasses to enjoy the celestial show. Our heads were lifted up the whole time to observe the unique moment for a few minutes. Millions of other people traveled to the path of totality to experience the wonderful phenomena, a rare sight we will not be able to see for another 20 years on US soil. People anticipated, waited, and looked up. 

The Millerites did the same thing on October 22, 1844. After a careful study of the scriptures, they were certain that Jesus would return that day. All day long, they anticipated, waited, and looked up (I don’t think they had their eclipse sunglasses on though) waiting for Jesus. He didn’t come that day. There was a Great Disappointment. I think it was a blessing in disguise in two ways. First, the experience made the pioneers dig deeper into the Word of God, and eventually understood the scriptures. Second, we will get to experience the second coming of Jesus.

When Jesus returns, we will experience something much greater. Solar eclipse will be nothing compared to His second coming. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. The signs are clear. He is coming soon. “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

At the time of writing, my left cheek is swollen. I got three of my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure many people receive these days but I was nervous. The thought of forcing three of my teeth out didn’t sit well with me. I have received surgeries (like my clavicle surgery last year!) and other procedures on my body in the past, but I don’t think I was ever this nervous. In fact, because I didn’t want to do this so much that I actually postponed this procedure once. Time passed by and at last I found myself lying in the oral surgeon’s room. I was anxious.

Immediately, the friendly assistant kindly explained to me what was going to take place, and that everything should be fine. I don’t think it helped. Within a couple of minutes the oral surgeon came in, and the procedure started. I clinched my fists, both the oral surgeon and the assistant assured me, “You are going to be fine, I will take good care of you.” They were right. Once the local anesthesia kicked in, my mouth didn’t feel much. The oral surgeon did his magical hand moves in my mouth and in a few moments the assistant said, “Your teeth are out.” Really? I didn’t even feel them come out! The team knew exactly what they were doing and had complete control over everything. It was all done.

We have our Master Surgeon, Jesus. He is able to do take care of our problems in life. We are not just talking about our physical issues, but spiritual matters as well. His promises never fail us and will guide us to the truth that only He can provide. We just need to let Him do it, and trust Him.

This past Tuesday morning, Singapore based cargo ship Dali lost power and collided into a pillar of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD. The bridge collapsed instantly, with multiple vehicles falling into the body of water, and 6 people losing their lives. I watched the video of the bridge collapsing over and over again, in disbelief. When the 984 feet long ship had contact with the pillar, the massive 1.6 mile long bridge crumbled like nothing. It was truly shocking and tragic.

I am not sure if this is appropriate to use this tragic incident as an illustration to share my thoughts, but two things came into my mind as I saw the video footage of this tragedy. First, nothing lasts forever. The mighty kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2 conquered the world, but they all fell at the rise of the next kingdom, inferior to the previous ones. There is only one kingdom that will last forever. “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed… and it shall last forever.” Daniel 2:44.

Secondly, be prepared and be on the watch. When the ship crew realized that they lost power and the ship was drifting, they immediately issued a “mayday,” in which the port authorities took action to stop incoming traffic onto the bridge. This prevented from more people losing their lives that morning. Everyone responded swiftly and immediately. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Matthew 25:13.

This world will not last, and Jesus is coming soon. Let us be ready.

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