Anne Graham Lotz: Get Ready for Jesus’ Return
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SEARCHING FOR A BRIDE
The book of Genesis describes the story of Abraham sending his servant to find a suitable bride for his son Isaac. Unfortunately, they lived in the land of the Canaanites who were very wicked people. Abraham wanted a godly wife for his son, so he sent his servant 450 miles to his own extended family in Haran. After a long journey, his servant prayed that whomever the woman was for Isaac that she would not only give him water at the well but also offer to water his camels.
The servant found Rebekah, a woman of remarkable character who met Abraham’s criteria. She provided water for the servant and the camels selflessly and humbly without regard for her own time and energy, with no exception of reward. The servant gave her extravagant gifts which she did not expect and explained that he had come to the family to find a wife for Isaac. Rebekah willingly agreed to go with the servant back to Canaan and become Isaac’s wife. The story is an allegory of how God seeks a Bride for His Son Jesus. The Bible refers to followers of Christ as Jesus’ Bride.
Anne recalls the efforts her own father, the late Billy Graham, took to find her a godly husband. After graduation from high school, she began dating a guy. Her dad became alarmed and called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to see if there was a Christian athlete who would take Anne to one of their annual conference meetings. On the last night of the conference, she attended it with a man named Danny Lotz. He was the son of a preacher and had won the NCAA basketball championship.
Danny had also finished dental school and was a captain in the Air Force. They enjoyed one another’s company on this arranged date. A month later he came back to visit her. On their third date Danny told Anne he loved her and wanted to marry her. She told him, “It was a free country so he could do what he wanted, but I wasn’t going to encourage him.” Her hesitation was due to his age and the fact that she was headed to college in the fall. When she told her father what Danny had said, Billy replied. “Anne, I think Danny Lotz is the man you are going to marry.” A little more than a year later they were married which lasted until his death forty-nine years later.
MEETING THE BRIDEGROOM
In their book, Preparing to Meet Jesus, Anne and Rachel-Ruth explore 21 characteristics of Rebekah that the Father desires to be found in the Bride of His Son. They have used each of these characteristics as the basis for a twenty-one-day challenge, to prepare you for the critical moment you meet Jesus’ face to face and are transformed into a beautiful “Bride who has made Herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). Some of those characteristics discussed in the book include:
· Know Him. As a young girl Anne gave her heart to Christ after watching a movie about His life. Although she was young at the time, she immediately felt a sense of relief, peace, and joy. Anne began a lifelong journey of knowing Him and serving Him. “As world events line up with the signs Jesus gave us to indicate we are living at the end of human history, I know with certainty that I will soon meet Him face to face,” shares Anne.
· Surrender to the Holy Spirit. Develop Christlike character. Spend time with Him so others can see Him in you.
· Serve others. As you sacrificially help others, God is watching. He will reward you. God sees all that you are doing and going through even when you think no one else does.
· Be humble. Rebekah was the daughter of a privileged family, yet she willingly chose to serve. She may have retrieved 300 gallons of water for the thirsty camels which would have been backbreaking work. Rachel-Ruth shares how after her heart attacks her brother Jonathan has served her by sitting with her as she recovered, bringing her lunch or even giving her a blanket when she was cold.
· Practice hospitality. Rachel-Ruth shares that her sister Morrow has the gift of hospitality making her home an inviting place for all those who visit her. In Matthew 10:40 Jesus said, “When we receive others, it’s as though we are receiving Him. And when we receive Him, we are really receiving His Father.”
· Share how God is at work in your life and in the lives of others. Rachel-Ruth shares, “What you share may be just what someone else needs to hear for their own encouragement.”
· Read your Bible and listen to what God has to say. Recently, Rachel-Ruth was experiencing severe heart pain. God brought to her mind the scripture, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6). God encouraged her the next morning with the scripture from Isaiah 41:10 that says, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” Next, a family friend messaged her a clip of her grandfather. He quoted the same two passages of scripture. Listening to God through the scriptures removed Rachel-Ruth’s anxious thoughts and fears.
FAMILY HEALTH UPDATE
In 2022, Rachel-Ruth suffered two back-to-back rare SCAD (spontaneous coronary artery dissection) heart attacks. “I was moments from dying and knew it,” recalls Rachel-Ruth. Anne prayed for her while she was in the hospital. As Rachel-Ruth began to slip away she felt what she believed was the finger of God move across her heart. Immediately, she was able to move again and open her eyes. She still has chest pain from time to time and several scares have sent her to the ER and the doctor’s office. There is a chance she could have another one, but instead of living in fear she clings to God’s promise in Psalm 40 telling her to wait patiently and stand firm.
Jonathan, Anne’s only son, was admitted to the ICU in 2021 while battling Covid. He was released in August of that year and went to recover at his mother’s home. She is deeply grateful for the prayers of saints all over the world for her son. Anne completed her breast cancer treatment in 2019.
Purchase Anne and Rachel's 21-Day devotional: "Preparing to Meet Jesus" now. To find more information about Anne and Rachel's ministries, please visit: annegrahamlotz.org and Rachel-Ruth's Bible study.
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