Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Are you ready?

Remember the New Testament story in which Jesus sent His disciples across the Sea of Galilee? The Bible says that He waited on the shore and was up on a mountain praying. As the disciples were making their way across, a great storm began to rage, and they thought they were going to die. They rowed hard to try to get back to land, but without success. Then we read that at the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. The fourth watch would be the time just before the dawn. This means that Jesus came to them after they had been at sea for nine hours. Then He came and rescued them.

Some of us may feel like the disciples did. We might be saying, “Lord, we have been battling away in this world. When are you going to come again? Are you paying attention to what is going on?” Of course He is. God is aware of everything that is happening. And know this: God is not late; He is always on time. The Bible says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV). The only reason the Lord has not already come is because He wants more people to come into His kingdom.

We’ve never been closer to the return of Jesus Christ than we are now. Even if He comes in the “fourth watch,” we’re to be ready. We don't want to be like the lost servant in another New Testament story who thought, “ ‘My master is delaying his coming' ” (Luke 12:45 NKJV). With this in mind, we need to be about our Master's business. So what are we to do, specifically?

First, we should be watching for Him. We should be paying attention and taking note of what is going on in the world right now. In the Book of Daniel, King Belshazzar faced judgment because he didn’t respond to the writing on the wall (see Daniel 5). All around us are signs of the times, reminders that Jesus is coming back. Watch for Him.

Second, we should be ready to go. If I’m going to travel somewhere by plane, I pack my bags the night before. Most of my flights are early in the morning. With all of the increased security now, I need to get to the airport well in advance. I get ready ahead of time so I’m prepared to go on the trip. In the same way, we need to be ready and prepared to meet the Lord when He returns. It is wise thing to ask yourself, “Am I living in such a way that I would be doing something I would be ashamed of if the Lord were to come back?” Living in the reality of Christ's return should make a difference in our behavior.

Third, we should be anxiously awaiting His return. My dog sleeps outside of my room at night.. When morning comes and I open the door, she’s so excited that she runs around in circles. That's how we should be. We should be anxiously awaiting the Lord's return.

Fourth, we should be working. Luke 12:43 says, “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (NKJV). If watching is the evidence of faith, then working is the evidence of faith in action. Watching for the Lord's return will help us prepare our own lives. Working will ensure that we bring others with us. That is the plan.

Jesus said, “ ‘Surely I am coming quickly.' ” The answer of the true Christian will always be, along with the apostle John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20 NKJV). Anything that would prevent us from that answer or make it hard to say reveals something that is out of place in our lives. Therefore, we must periodically examine all of our ambitions, pursuits, hopes, dreams, and plans by this truth of the Lord's imminent return.

Jesus is coming back again. It might be sooner than some of us may think. Let's be ready.

Praying that we’re all ready
Pastor Mike

Boat 99!

At a boat-rental concession, the manager went to the lake's edge and yelled through his megaphone, "Number 99, come in, please. Your time is up." Several minutes passed, but the boat didn't return. "Boat number 99," he again hollered, "return to the dock immediately or I'll have to charge you overtime."

"Something is wrong here, boss," his assistant said. "We only have 75 boats. There is no number 99."

The manager thought for a moment and then raised his mega-phone: "Boat number 66," he yelled. "Are you having trouble out there?"


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