“The Blessing Of Being Ready”
September 25, 2015
Note: Due to chaplaincy visits and late posting we will not prepare a podcast today.
“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:44).
Over the past week or so, as I (Brooksyne) greeted employees within our different companies, I’ve had many ask, “Are you ready for fall?” The conversation usually leads to both the employee and myself sighing at the idea of summer’s end acknowledging that the cooler days are on their way. Moving into fall means the end of vacations, flowers, vegetable gardens, fireflies, swimming and the extended time of daylight.
Recently I visited a 90 year old man who was also preparing for a big change in his life though it wasn’t the fall season, more like the spring due to his faith and outlook. Henry was very near death’s door when I visited his room. He was sitting up in his chair but there was very little to no response as I began our conversation.
I hadn’t seen him for quite some time so I tried to familiarize him with who I was. I took his hand and then asked, “Can I read some Scripture to you?” Rather than speak he squeezed my hand and I took that to be “yes”. I read from Revelation 21 & 22, sang “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” as I often do when one is about to cross over to glory land, and then I quoted Psalm 23. Though Henry did not speak out I could tell that he was tracking with me during the entire Psalm.
Finally I got right in his face, as I wanted to be absolutely sure that he heard me, and asked with all earnestness, “Henry, do you love Jesus?” There was no response but I continued to look right at him and awaited his answer. Sure enough, though he was extremely frail, weak, and tired in body he finally mustered all he had to give and stammered as he replied, “I…… c….cer…cer – tain – ly do!” I then asked, “Are you ready to meet Jesus?” Again, with an absolute affirmative, he answered “yes!” It was God’s choice to call Henry to heaven just over 48 hours later where he could personally tell Jesus, “I love You!”
The truth is we’re always in a state of getting ready for something at every age in life, whether it’s going to kindergarten the first day, our first piano recital, entering high school, our first job, getting engaged and married or having our first baby or first grandchild. And then those latter years when one has to sell their house and valuables to move into a retirement home. We finally face life’s greatest event, our transition to the other side.
Jesus stressed getting ready as well, the kind of getting ready that supersedes all those important things in life that are present only for a season of our lives. Unambiguously He declared to His disciples in His long teaching on the Mount of Olives, “You also must be ready.” He’s speaking of His promised return to earth; a future event which devout believers hold dear.
Today many mock and unbelievers scoff at the mention of the return of Christ. Sadly in my observation even in much of the visible church it is too often unproclaimed.
Most ignore it. In fact Jesus Himself likened it to the days of Noah. People went about their business unaware of their impending doom. Perhaps the economy was strong and people were living well. They reasoned, “Who needs to listen to that crazy preacher building a boat? Similar to the days of Solomon, “A man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry” (Ecclesiastes 8:15).
Jesus said, “You also must be ready.” But He went on to state, “because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” So we have a very forthright warning from Jesus Himself. However regarding the specific date or time we do not know, even though all throughout the age of the church many, many specific attempts have been made.
So the focus is not so much on the unannounced date, as it is on living in a state of preparedness for the Lord’s return. We won’t have time to get ready at the trumpet sound, so we must be ready before that great and glorious moment when Jesus appears in the clouds. Through Scripture we have been adequately warned. Have you heeded that warning? Are you ready? Are you warning others? Certainly one of the greatest blessings of life is being ready when our time comes to depart from this life.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, depending on the state of our hearts we view the Scriptures about death or the return of Your Son in dread, as a warning or as a welcoming. We prepare our hearts by trusting You and asking You for the forgiveness of sins and inviting You to reign in our lives. We pray for those we love that they too will make spiritual preparations for their death or to be ready for the trumpet sound when the dead in Christ rise first and then we who believe will be caught up to meet Jesus in the skies. We have been warned, let us be prepared, and welcome with great anticipation the time when we will transition or at the second coming of our Lord. We lift up our heads as our redemption draws near. Amen.
For further Scripture regarding the second coming of Christ see I Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Revelation 1:7.
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