Today, We Prepare

Hebrews 3:13   (KJV)   13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

One glorious day, we will be meeting our long-awaited beloved Lord, beholding Him with our very eyes, to spend time with Him and with our God for eternity. That will be one day, and we pray, one day soon. Today, we prepare.

exhortPart of our proper preparation is urgently exhorting and warning each other daily to be passionate about our God and His Word; to be watchful and vigilant against the insidious tactics and hideous attacks of our enemy.

God has powerfully set us free; we live in freedom. We don’t unwisely subject ourselves again to the cruel sin overlord. In freedom; we’re repeatedly commanded to be careful, to guard our hearts, to make sure our hearts don’t get hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and cause us to turn away from God.

We aim to be faithful to our Lord, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith, to trust Him as firmly as when we did at first—even more. We don’t make light of the admonition for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to strive with the power of God’s Spirit that’s continually working in us to will and do what pleases Him. These we restfully do—in freedom, in His grace.

Worst Late Ever

Luke 13:25   (KJV)   25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:

Luke 13.25 - The Worst LateThere will be those who won’t be saved not because they don’t recognize the Savior but because they procrastinated and lost the biggest opportunity in their lives.

Punctuality begets big blessings. We can’t even calculate all the advantages and benefits we enjoy of being on time. We may get away with procrastination, but it does add unimaginable amount of stress when we always have to cram to beat a certain deadline. Often, we still end up late.

Salvation is something we don’t want to procrastinate on. Being late on this is one of the biggest if not the biggest mistake and regret any person can experience. Living in the Lord is the best life there is–here and in eternity.

Others don’t know what they’re missing. We do because we’ve experienced both. God is good–He’s the best. Why wait until we have very little time to enjoy the best and most blessed life? Worse, why wait until it’s too late?

When God Finally Comes

Ezekiel 37:28   (KJV)   28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

A day is coming when God’s sanctuary—His temple—will be among us; God Himself will be living here on earth—in Jerusalem. On that day, His people will really be His people, Ezekiel 37.28 - When God Finally Comesand God will really be our God.

We won’t ever lose our free will. But God will have a way of making Israel and all His people holy. He has a way of changing our hearts from that of hard, stony, and stubborn hearts to that of tender, sensitive, and submissive hearts. He has a way of giving us a new spirit through the presence of His Holy Spirit so that we will be obedient and faithful. We will be holy, not just positionally, but practically.

Oh what a day that will be—when God Himself is our ultimate King and Shepherd, and God’s people are really walking in holiness and righteousness; when God’s enemies are humbled, defeated, and silenced; when peace, love, and righteousness rule in the earth. This is not just a dream; it will have its fulfillment. Maranatha—come, oh Lord; the Lord is coming!!!

Watch and Keep Clothed

Revelation 16:15   (KJV)   15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Revelation 16.15 - Watchful and ClothedJesus’ return is unannounced; it’s imminent; no one knows the day or the hour. This truth is so emphatic in the Scriptures. Not even the angels in heaven or the Son know when. We won’t discuss the “three Persons in one God” at this time.

The appropriate response to the imminence of our precious Lord Jesus’ return isn’t negligence or lack of attention. When He said it’s not for us to know the times and the seasons which our heavenly Father chose to keep for Himself, He wasn’t telling us not to be uninterested towards the truth of the 2nd coming. The converse is true; He wants us to be watchful, to be always ready for His return.

This is one of the reasons we don’t walk uncovered. We continue to live day by day clothed with Jesus and His righteousness. We don’t ever want to find ourselves in the shameful state of having our sins and guilt laid bare—totally exposed before the presence of our Holy God. Is it even possible for a child of God to be found “naked” and shamed? As unpopular as the answer may be, the passage seems to tell us so.

This same passage doesn’t tell us to debate about all the differing interpretations regarding His return. It clearly tells us the blessedness of those who watch and who keep their garments. That’s our part; that’s our focus; that’s what we restfully and joyfully strive for. And undeniably, as much as we know that we have loved ones and friends who may be left behind, we really get excited and thrilled about our Lord’s return.

Greatest Surprise Awaits

Revelation 10:1   (KJV)   10 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire

Revelation 10.1 - Greatest Suprise AwaitsAn angel clothed with a cloud, rainbow over the head, face shining like the sun, feet like pillars of fire—this is definitely a different picture compared to the images of angels commonly portrayed.

We need to be ready to be pleasantly surprised by still so many things that will be revealed to us when our eyes are finally and completely opened to the supernatural world. We’ve seen angelic beings painted or drawn as babies, toddlers, warriors, some have two wings, some have six. But there have not been a lot of times when we’ve seen depictions of angels as majestic as the one we see here.

That’s an angel. When it comes to God, we’re already out of words to describe our infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, immutable, loving, holy, just God. As free as our imaginations are, they still fall short of grasping the glorious reality of our God and of the supernatural and eternal sphere. We’re already absolutely fascinated by the surface truths we know.  Oh, what an indescribable and unimaginable delight it will be when we see Him face to face.

When Everyone Believes

Isaiah 26:9   (KJV)   With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

For some, the only time they’ll learn what’s right is when the Lord finally returns to judge. For us, the only thing left to do is to wait for that time. We long for the Lord’s Isaiah 26.9 - When Everyone Believesreturn. For us, it will be glorious beyond description. For some, it will be a horrible awakening.

We desire doing our best in reaching the lost and sharing to them about the Lord so that they will experience the light of the glorious Gospel of the Kingdom—the Gospel of Salvation. There are some who respond wisely, but there are those who see and treat every word we speak and every approach we make as something offensive. Any additional effort on our part seems to just push them away even farther.

There are those who just don’t want to believe in God. Some go even to the extremes of not believing His existence; others just don’t want to trust in Him. They don’t believe what He says in His Word, that He’s the hope for our salvation. They don’t even want to accept the fact that they need salvation. That’s why they don’t like God, or Christians. We are the light that exposes their true status.

Everything though will come to light. When the Lord returns, they will know—albeit too late. As for us, we continue to yearn for Him. We meet Him through His Word and His Spirit. He lives in us, and we in Him. We yearn for His appearing, and one of these days, we will see Him face to face.

Moderation

Philippians 4:5   (KJV)   5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Moderation has much to do in relation to the coming of the Lord. The Lord’s return is near. Readiness for His return—wise preparation includes this most often overlooked virtue.

Philippians 4.5 - ModerationInstead of insisting on our own preferences, we give way. We don’t enforce our choices; we don’t lord it over others; instead, we reflect the gentle spirit of our Lord, His graciousness, His unselfishness, mercy, and understanding. It isn’t easy, but it’s doable. People often do things that are very foolish and can easily anger us, especially when their thoughtless actions result to more hard work for us—grrrr.

But we can’t be preoccupied with anger and frustration. It takes a lot of yieldedness to God’s Spirit, but we choose to see past people’s senselessness. Through this, we avoid anger and conflicts that can render us less effective in our testimony. We’d rather be more focused on the Lord’s coming than our own personal fulfillment. People are watching; we represent our Lord; we watch for His return; we watch our actions and reactions.