4, 3, 2, 1

Online people are having fun posting the ‘countdown’ that is tomorrow’s date.  4, 3, 2, 1.  With all of the chaos that is life these days there is more talk about the Second Coming, the ‘Last Days.’ I do not know if these are the days foretold by prophecy, but I do know this – Jesus did promise to return! 

Even if His return does not happen in my lifetime, I know a second thing – Life passes quickly! That I am looking at retiring after 45 years of pastoral ministry is like a revelation of the flow of time. That I have grandchildren who are entering adulthood – shocking – well, maybe not shocking, but certainly a reminder that the gray-bearded man in the mirror is growing older.

Be you 18 or 81, may you never forget to keep your heart right with God and prepared to enter His Presence, be it by way of the grave or at His Return.

In my ongoing readings in Matthew, this morning I came to Jesus’ words about the End of the age.  “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:36-39, NIV)   

He followed that with a story about 10 women who were going to a wedding. Five were prepared for a long wait, bringing reserve oil for their lamps. Five were not.  The summation of that parable – “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:13, NIV)

Most sobering is the next teaching story about 3 servants whose master left them each to care for a treasure appropriate to their abilities – 1 receiving a 10 fold amount, 1 a 5 fold amount, and 1 a single unit. Two were diligent, working and investing and they doubled their treasure. The one with the single unit took it home and buried in the backyard.

Here’s how Jesus explained His story. “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. ”‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.” (Matthew 25:26-31, NIV)

4, 3, 2, 1 – are you prepared to give an account to God for the way you have invested the life He’s given to you?

That question need not stir up fear in us, IF faith in Christ Jesus owns us – body, mind, and soul.  Neither the flow of time nor life’s outcomes are within our control. But, we can choose to respond with faith to the invitation of Jesus, finding security in the message of His grace.

Today (Good Friday) we walk to the Cross and ‘see’ the Savior Who died to save us, Whose sacrificed opened the way back to our Father’s house.  On Sunday, (Easter) we will celebrate the King Who overcame sin, death, and Hell on our behalf. That Resurrection power is ours today and if we will live in it, through faith and devotion, when He comes – He will find us ready.

Here is a word from the Word.
May the Lord help us to know the joy of those redeemed.

“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:17-21, NIV)  

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV)

4,3,2,1 – Because of His loving gift of grace I’m ready!  Are you?

__________________

Is He Worthy

(Take 5 minutes and listen. Worship and take hope!)

Do you feel the world is broken?
We do
Do you feel the shadows deepen?
We do
But do you know that all the dark
Won’t stop the light from getting through?
We do

Do you wish that you could see it all made new?
We do
Is all creation groaning?
It is
Is a new creation coming?
It is

Is the glory of the Lord
To be the light within our midst?
It is
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this?
It is

Is anyone worthy?
Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s Root
And the Lamb who died to ransom the slave

Is He worthy?
Is He worthy?
Of all blessing and honor and glory

Is He worthy of this?
He is

Does the Father truly love us?
He does
Does the Spirit move among us?
He does
And does Jesus our Messiah
Hold forever those He loves?
He does
Does our God intend to dwell again with us?
He does

Is anyone worthy?
Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s Root
And the Lamb who died to ransom the slave
From ev’ry people and tribe every nation and tongue
He has made us a kingdom and priests
To God to reign with the Son

Is He worthy?
Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy?
Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?
He is

Andrew Peterson | Ben Shive

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