Saturday, November 12, 2016

Live ready!

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Think about this: How do you ensure you do not miss a one-off event you do not know exactly when it will happen, but you're sure it will definitely happen?

What do you do to make sure you do not miss the only flight in six months to your destination when you don't know exactly the time it is scheduled to take off, and you're aware that it will take off without prior notice?

How does one manage this? How does one ensure he doesn't miss out on something he has no clue exactly when it will happen?

You know, the scenario is different when you know exactly when the event will happen, or when the flight is scheduled to take off. If that is the case, you can prepare for it, ensuring that you don't miss the event or flight. But what if you have no idea WHEN this is going to happen?

The answer? Live ready!

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming - in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning - lest, coming suddenly, he finds you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: watch!"
- Mark 13:32-36.

I recently watched the movie, "Left behind", and I was reminded of the suddenness with which rapture and the end Jesus spoke of will happen. It will happen so suddenly like a flash that there would be no time to get ready.

We do not know when Jesus will return to take His home, but since we're sure it unfailingly will, we have to live ready.

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How do you live ready for Jesus' coming?
I think our answer can be found in Jesus' words in the text (Mark 13:32-36) quoted above; He said to, "take heed, watch and pray" - three simple steps.

If you notice, the steps follow a pattern (yes, Jesus is always deliberate, strategic and calculated in His statements). First, you look inwards (take heed), then look around you (watch), and look up/above to God (pray)...let's discuss these further, shall we?

1. Take heed (look inwards)
Be mindful of the things you think (thoughts/desires), say (words) and do (actions/habits). Be mindful also of the things you allow, support or encourage others to do (don't encourage sin nor be an accomplice). I particularly need to take heed on this one.

You take heed also by beaming the light and lamp of God's Word into your heart through its regular "consumption".

Look inwards, ask yourself hard, penetrating questions; think deeply and answer honestly - am I really in Christ and walking according to the Spirit, and not the flesh (Romans 8:1)?
Ask: what if...what if it happens this minute...what if Jesus comes right this minute, what becomes of me? Friend, please take heed to not slip and miss out.

2. Watch (look around you)
Watch the news, but don't let it overrule God's promises; listen to what others say, but don't use that to define your life and future; pay attention to developments, but be sensitive to the Spirit's nudges as to what to do and say.

Friend, watch! Here's Jesus explaining this second step and its importance, "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you KNOW that summer is near. So you also, when you SEE these things happening, know that it is near - at the doors!" (Mark 13:29).

You would not know that summer is around the corner without taking note of the changes heralding it. Do not isolate yourself from things happening around you; watch, observe and patterns will become clear!

3. Pray (look up to God)
Truly, left to ourselves, we do not deserve to spend eternity in the presence of a perfect God like Jehovah.

How can we deserve that? With our flaws and all? With our evil thoughts and all? With our sinful tendencies and all? We just can't, but for His grace.

Look up to God for guidance and help to keep you away from anything that could deny you of going with Him when He does return.

Let's make this prayer together: Father, help me to not miss the greatest one-off flight in history, when you will send your angels, and gather together your elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven (Mark 13:27).
Help me Lord to live ever ready for your second coming, give me grace to watch and pray like you commanded.
Jesus, I want to spend eternity with you, help me not miss out. Thank you, Lord.

Whether we're ready or not, whether we're prepared for it or not, like a plane inevitably crash landing, Jesus will return; and will take His own home wih Him. It would be a shock to those who do not live ready for His return.
Are you ready? How are you preparing? Our saviour is coming...soon...
If you're not ready and prepared for Jesus' return, as long as you can read this, you still have a chance. His saving grace is still available...accept Jesus into your heart and live ready for His return.

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