The good news is the days are getting longer! The bad news is that winter is finally visiting Central Minnesota today. We’re expecting several inches of snow followed by cold and lots of wind. It should make things very interesting.
I’ve been prepared for winter for some time now, but I can’t help but think that there are still a couple loose ends left undone. I didn’t put on my new windshield wiper blades. I don’t have my shovel in my truck. That reminds me, I didn’t remind my daughters to do the same.
It also reminds me that Jesus is coming – soon! Granted, believers have been saying that ever since he left, but he really is coming back soon. It’s easy to get complacent and lazy. I guess I should say that I’m speaking for myself, of course! No, this is a problem we all have.
That’s why Jesus told us so many times to stay alert. He wants us to be prepared. Sure, many of these lessons are pointed right at those who DON’T believe, but they are applicable as well to those who do.
Why do you suppose he’s so concerned that we are actively anticipating his return?
The quick comeback is that I don’t want to be ensnared in some sinful act when he shows up. Yes, that’s true but from a negative viewpoint. A positive view is that active anticipation is a reflection of my heart. If I’m looking forward to his arrival (soon!), then I’m thinking about him. If I’m thinking about him, I’m probably active in my bible reading and prayer life. If I’m active in these things, I’m likely encouraging other believers. If I’m doing all these things, then it’s very likely that I am also sharing the gospel with those who don’t. Finally, if I’m doing even all this, I’m very likely showing great love, kindness, and compassion to the people I come in contact with.
I think that is really what Jesus is getting at. If we are obeying simply to prove we aren’t sinning, then we are missing the point. We are then trying to please God by obeying the rules. That’s a works-based religion. Christianity is based on faith. It’s heart-driven, not guilty-conscience driven.
Remember what God said through Hosea?
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
This morning I’m reflecting on the coming winer storm, wondering what I may have overlooked. Perhaps it’s also a good morning to take inventory of my spiritual life as well. Am I prepared to show love, kindness, and compassion to a lost and dying world? Is my heart breaking at the thought of mankind walking straight into the lake of fire? If not, am I meeting regularly with fellow believers to encourage and be encouraged? Am I praying like I should? I mean, there are times when my prayer is Wow!, and other times I forget. How about my bible reading? Am I diving deep into scripture? Am I totally amazed by the Word of God and wanting to share what I’ve found with others?
Matthew 13:45-46 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Am I excited like that? If not, then it’s easy enough to get back on track. In fact, it’s really, really easy. I’d be a fool not to do that right now. Why wouldn’t I want to enjoy the peace and joy that only time with Jesus will give me?
I’m not too busy for that!
Father, I thank you for these reminders. I need to examine these things daily because, as you warned, it’s way too easy to get sidetracked. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers