Get ready!

One of the things about living here in NJ is the “entertainment” that comes with winter storms.  Our local forecasters love to hype a storm, particularly it seems to me, snowstorms. The next one is going to be a ‘monster.’  A blizzard is cause for something like a party for the weather guys. It is true that snow complicates life for about 24 hours but we have snow plows and salt for the roads. Within 24 hours of even a major storm life resumes its normal pace.  

Of course I am glad for the meteorologists who help us to anticipate and prepare for weather events but the hyperbole that creeps into their language amuses me. When they forecast a ‘snow-pocalypse’ I just make sure I have some gas for the generator, food in the frig, and I prepare to shovel the white stuff.  When I am ready, I can sit back and even enjoy the unique beauty of a snowstorm.

There is no exaggeration in these words, my friend.
Storms will inevitably come your way. 
Occasionally they will be monsters that rock your world. Sometimes they will cause a minor disruption. The question is – are you prepared?  

In March, 2014, Bev and I entered the wild storm (late stage ovarian cancer) that eventually brought her to the end of her earthly journey 2 years later.  It was a storm turned my life inside out. But, we were as prepared as people can be for such things. Our marriage had a solid foundation that supported us for that awful 20 months of illness. Our faith rested on the Solid Rock, Christ Jesus, that gave assurance even as the worst of life was thrown at us.  We were blessed by a circle of friends and our family that gave us amazing support.  As curious as it may sound, our love deepened and we knew a sweetness unparalleled by any time in our marriage previously. How I would have lived through that storm without preparation is simply unimaginable to me.

Jesus told a story about the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The main point of the story is preparation, anticipating the demands of what’s ahead. “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” (Matthew 25:1-13, NLT)

Jesus is forecasting the coming of His Kingdom. Some will meet Him when the trumpet of God announces His return to the Earth. Others will meet Him when they step from time into eternity at death. But, we will all meet God, one way or another.  Are you prepared?

If we have filled up life with food, pleasure, and the urgencies of this present world, ignoring the reality of the Spirit, we will be found asleep;  not ready to welcome Him.  If we are living with the right priorities each day, keeping aware of the Spirit, worshipping, by faith taking His provisions, that Day will find us ready to meet the Lord – celebrating the coming of our Savior King.  Your wife’s faith, your parent’s faith, your pastor’s faith – will not be enough in that Day. Sobering? Yes, it is.

So, let’s be prepared. Life will change, storms will come, and sooner or later the King will call us into His Presence.
Are you prepared?

The word from the Word calls us to right priorities. Meditate on Peter’s wisdom. Invite the Spirit to help you to prepare today.
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts.
Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you.
Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.
Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies.

Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ.
All glory and power belong to him forever and ever
. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7-11, NLT)

(Video of this blog at this link)

______________

Build My Life

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

We live for You
Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett
© 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)
Kaple Music (Admin. by Bethel Music Publishing)
Bethel Music Publishing CCLI License # 810055

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