If you knew someone you loved was coming, would you get ready and be prepared for the wait of their arrival? What would you do to make sure you were prepared since you aren’t sure exactly how long it is going to be before they get there, you just know they are coming and already on their way? Would you prepare any differently than if you knew the exact hour? Would you still be ready if it took a while for them to arrive? What would you do if it took longer than you prepared for? What would the consequences be?
Now what if the person you were waiting for was Jesus? And His return would be the trigger for bring people home into the kingdom of God? And what if missing out would mean being left behind? Would that change your preparation? Would that change your perspective? Would that change your readiness plan?
This morning’s reading starts with just such an example and it goes like this:
The Parable of the Ten Young Women1“At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep.6“It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ 10So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.11“Later the others arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12‘Certainly not! I don’t know you,’ the bridegroom answered.”13And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.
~from Matthew 25 (GNT)
The reality nobody knows the day or the time of His return, but we do have the promise that He is coming back. So where is your hope and trust being put? Is it on the temporary of today or the eternity of life with God? Your perspective, your focus, your vision will impact your direction and your preparedness. So let’s get ready and be ready!
So what can we do to be prepared? Let’s live life in the Spirit! For when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were transformed! And when you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will be transformed. Today’s reading speaks to this in the following way:
Life in the Spirit
1There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. 2For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. 3What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature, to do away with sin. 4God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. 5Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. Those who live as the Spirit tells them to, have their minds controlled by what the Spirit wants. 6To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. 7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.9But you do not live as your human nature tells you to; instead, you live as the Spirit tells you to—if, in fact, God’s Spirit lives in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ lives in you, the Spirit is life for you. because you have been put right with God, even though your bodies are going to die because of sin. 11(1 Co 3.16) If the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from death, lives in you, then he who raised Christ from death will also give life to your mortal bodies by the presence of his Spirit in you.12So then, my friends, we have an obligation, but it is not to live as our human nature wants us to. 13For if you live according to your human nature, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death your sinful actions, you will live. 14Those who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to be afraid; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, “Father! my Father!” 16God’s Spirit joins himself to our spirits to declare that we are God’s children. 17Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share Christ’s suffering, we will also share his glory.
~from Romans 8 (GNT)
So let’s live in this new way! Let’s live without condemnation! Let’s live as the Spirit tells us to live! Let’s not be fooled or tricked by our human nature that will try to lead us off track, but rather walk in the Spirit so that God’s power will be alive in us and we can glorify Him! Let’s live the lives of children of the most high God who we became when we were saved and adopted into God’s family. As His children, we get the inheritance of His blessings for His people.
So it’s not too late to ask Jesus into your heart! It’s not too late for a transformation! Is today your day? Do you want it to be? Ask God to forgive you (for all have sinned and fallen short of the will of God). Ask Jesus to come into your heart and into your life and to help lead you and guide you, to set you from the old ways and to create a new heart in you. We see in the book of Mark 16:15 tells us that all it takes to be saved is:
So Lord as I prepare for this day, as I put on the full armor of God, as I look to You for wisdom, I ask Lord for your wisdom and your protection over me and my family and friends. May Your Word stand firm as it never returns void. And so I finish my reading and posting today from the book of Psalms…
A Prayer for Safety
1Save me from my enemies, my God; protect me from those who attack me! 2Save me from those evil people; rescue me from those murderers! 3Look! They are waiting to kill me; cruel people are gathering against me. It is not because of any sin or wrong I have done, 4nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord, that they hurry to their places. 5Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid; see for yourself, God of Israel! Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors! 6They come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city. 7Listen to their insults and threats. Their tongues are like swords in their mouths, yet they think that no one hears them. 8But you laugh at them, Lord; you mock all the heathen. 9I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. 10My God loves me and will come to me; he will let me see my enemies defeated. 11Do not kill them, O God, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your strength and defeat them, O Lord, our protector. 12Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, 13destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely. Then everyone will know that God rules in Israel, that his rule extends over all the earth. 14My enemies come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city, 15like dogs roaming about for food and growling if they do not find enough. 16But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble. 17I will praise you, my defender. My refuge is God, the God who loves me.