The Lord is coming as a thief in the night. This is a very important aspect of Christ’s coming. It is so important it is mentioned 5 times in the New Testament by Peter, Paul, John and Jesus Christ Himself (Matt. 24:43, 1 Thes. 5:2, 2 Pet. 3:10, Rev. 3:3, 16:15).
The charge here is to watch and be ready (Matt. 24:44). The question is, how do we make ourselves ready (Rev. 19:7)? We first need to ask why Christ would compare Himself to a thief.
In John 10:10 Jesus contrasted Himself to a thief coming to steal, kill and destroy and said that He came to give us life. Jesus isn’t contradicting Himself by later calling Himself a thief. He’s giving us an awesome picture into what it means to give us life.
This “life” is Christ Himself growing and maturing in us. It is so precious to us, even more precious than our own life. By denying our life, He is able to give us more of His life. This is part of being watchful and it also makes us precious in His sight. See Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and Gemesis for more on becoming a precious stone 🙂
We now need to ask, “what is precious in the Lord’s sight?” One person we can learn from is Daniel. He is very precious to the Lord. He is called a man of preciousness (Dan. 10:11,19). He’s even called preciousness itself (Dan. 9:23). What made Daniel precious? There are three characteristics about him we can learn from.
Number 1, he had companions his whole life long. They stood against the tide of that age and stood out from among the rest from their youth. They refused to eat the king’s choice food and worship the king’s idols.
Number 2, he read the Bible which at that time was the prophet Jeremiah. Particularly, the prophecy about Israel being released from captivity in Babylon and returning to Jerusalem after 70 years. He was alive and well during this part of history and even made history
by his prayer which brings us to…
Number 3, he prayed, every day, at least three times a day. What did he pray for? He prayed what he read. He prayed Jeremiah’s prophecy into being. What we learn from this is that God needs man to pray. This is how God moves. Similarly, we have Christ’s prophecy that He will return. He isn’t lying, He will return, He’s just waiting for us to pray, and read, and pray and read some more with more companions.
Why not start right now? Pray “Lord Jesus, I am tired of living for myself and my own interest! Lord, I give myself to You for Your interest! Open Your word to me! Show me what You’re interested in! Remind me to read! Remind me to pray! Teach me to pray Your word back to You like Daniel did! Give me companions like Daniel! Make me a man of preciousness like Daniel! Lord Jesus make me precious enough to steal!”