Mark 13:32-37 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
I woke up this morning thinking “ok, this is it, tonight will be the last evening I have to pack before I leave for vacation this Friday”.
And then it hit me, what a blessing to know the exact hour of my departure. I have time to prepare; prepare in my mind what I need to do, and then time to physically prepare by carrying out the plans I make.
In that scenario, the plans I have for me are the plans I make for me. I am choosing to vacation in Mammoth Mountain, I am choosing the transport which is backpacking, I’m choosing the recreation which is fishing and hiking, the duration, the food I will eat, the company I will keep. It is I who must make these decision on what to do and how to carry that out.
But in God’s kingdom, the eternal day of reckoning is always present yet we do not know the departure date. Mathew and Luke both account of Jesus’ red-letter words, God Himself that spoke to the masses and is recorded for us which speak of the end times and He makes it very clear, no one can know the time so we are to remain prepared at all times.
But how do we know what to take, what to leave behind, what to carry with us in our heart and mind at all times so when the inevitable surprise comes we know how to respond?
It is made very clear in God’s instruction manual. What He teaches, what He promises, what He has done; it is all in the bible and given to us so we can study it, know it, live it.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
So much of the stress in planning a vacation or family get-together or business venture is in the preparation, because we have to think of everything, and what we forget to include can have a much greater cost that we realize, it can even ruin a project.
Planning is everything
God in His great mercy and masterful wisdom took the stress of having to “figure out” what to do on our own. He gave us all we need. His Word, the bible.
The challenge then is to do what He tells us in His word. I believe this is one of the meaning behind “the word shall set you free”. If we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) and there is evidence of our salvation by the fruit of our works (Colossians 1:10)
Our life is to become a purusit of obedience to God’s loving instruction. He is not a tyrant who is waiting to punish us when we fall short, He is a loving Father who wants to reward us when we comply with His pure and perfect desires for our lives, poured out for His glory alone.
- Matthew 19:17
And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
- John 14:15
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
- John 14:21
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
- John 15:10
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
- 1 Corinthians 7:19
For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.
- 1 John 2:3
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
- 1 John 2:4
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,
- 1 John 3:22
and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
- 1 John 3:24
Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
- 1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
So what will be the final words you would here if judgment came today?
I Never Knew You
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Well Done Good and Faithful Servant
Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’
We simply need to press deep into God’s word; study, learn and live out what He teaches us. We have right in front of us the glorious teachings of our benevolent Creator. Do we take it seriously or is it just a trophy on the shelf that we show others on weekends.
My prayer today brothers and sisters is that we all look to God, call on God, praise God for what He has done, is doing, and has promised to. He has already won the battle for those that believe in Him. Let’s live like the free people we are and share the Good News with others today.