As I often do, I decided to get my Bible reading done before bedtime. With everything going on in the world, I was led to look up the words “end times.” There were so many scriptures that referenced the end times. But, one scripture, in particular, stood out among them all. Luke 26:21 said, “Men will faint from fear and anxiety over what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken..” Luke 26:25 says, “There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among the nations, bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the surging of the waves. Then, I asked myself–“Are You Preparing to Meet Jesus at His Return?” Make no mistakes about it. We must prepare ourselves individually, as families, and as a people for Jesus return.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. So I read it a few more times and thought. Lord, that’s it. People are losing hope because of the terror and noisome pestilence that has entered our land. Many have become unsure about God’s authority and what He is doing on earth. And, some people believe God is shaken by the chaos and has no clue about how to get things under control.
These notions are all wrong.
First, God created heaven and earth and He is fully aware of what is going on during the end times.
I think you and I can agree that there is destruction upon our land and the timing of Jesus’s return is coming soon. And, there is no way God would leave us ignorant of satan’s devices. God has clearly given us the signs of His coming and has asked us to be ready.
In the preparation of being ready, I’m reminded of a time I was running track for my middle school. I enjoyed running long distances. One day during practice, I planned to ask my coach about doing something different, which consisted of hanging out with my friends on the track field. We did a few things that involved cardio and stretching. Then, my coach said, “Long-distance runners. Get to your mark.” That ruined my time with my friends because the remainder of my practice was running. Nonetheless, as I was running around the track, I noticed some of my classmates playing and goofing-off in the center of the field, and not taking their practice seriously.
I became a little frustrated with my coach because I wanted to play around too. So, after practice, I asked my coach if I could work on something else the next day because I had the long-distance running down-pat. He replied, “No, every day puts you ahead of your opponent.” In my mind, I’m thinking. “Ahead of my opponent.” I thought I was running ahead of my opponent each time I crossed the finish line during practice.
Earlier in the school year, my coach warned me about another long-distance runner from another school that was pretty good. That couldn’t be the case because I was the best around in the middle schools. To my surprise, I didn’t realize what my coach saying until the official day of our track meet, when, I had to remain ahead of my opponent. My opponent was great. She knew how to pace herself to allow her legs to do the best work. For two miles, we both stayed focused and paced with each other until the last mile.
However, it never failed. During my last mile, I felt more refreshed than ever. A second-wind come over me. I started picking up my pace. A little more, and a little more, until all I felt was my long legs moving quickly under me doing their best work. The crowd stood cheering me on to my victory. As I got closer to the finish line, I looked back and saw that my opponent was barely running. It all made sense. Every day that I practiced running long distances; it placed me ahead of my opponent. It prepared me for the real track meet. Simply put, I had made myself ready.
It’s the same thing as we’re preparing for Jesus’s return. Many of us are doing all the things we need to do to prepare for Jesus’s great return. We are reading, praying, fasting, and committing ourselves to God’s daily business. At this point, it wouldn’t be wise to look over at our friends, co-workers, neighbors, bosses, and become distracted by them playing and goofing-off in the center of the field (Their daily lives). This tells us they are not taking their preparation seriously. But we know, Jesus return is real.
Procrastination is dangerous!
My next practice after our first official track meet was a gamer changer for me. I wanted to prepare even harder because I knew I had to remain ahead of my opponent. She was a great runner. The thought of playing and goofing-off was no longer considered. I couldn’t phantom coming in last. I prepared each practice to win.
Now, for you. God is calling you to practice and prepare for His return. He is giving you the space and time to repent. Every day you get up. Take the opportunity to run your race. This is an opportunity to prepare you to win. To stay ahead of your opponent.
Could Job be prepared?
I believe that Job was prepared. God gave Satan permission to bring calamity upon him and his household because He knew Job was anchored in Him. God knew that Job would not curse Him. Job did a lot of complaining, but he rode the storm of life out. In Job 13:15: Job boldly said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
Job was prepared to die. He knew God had greater for him.
We can not live the way that God wants us to live all by ourselves. It’s impossible. Every day we are fighting a spiritual battle. The spiritual battle is not so much on the outside, but more so from on the inside. Our spirit is yearning to be more like Jesus Christ. The flesh wars against our spirit telling us “No, you don’t want to be more like Jesus.” This should prepare us even more because every tough situation is preparing me for Jesus’s return.
Living right is not an easy task. It’s going to take a lot of prayer and willingness on your part to totally submit to God’s will.
Lately, in my conversations with people, I have asked about their faith, church background, and their relationship with God. During this time, I’m trying to find out where that person is at that every moment in their relationship with God. I know what kind of conversation I need to have with them, once this has been determined.
My goal is to live my life in such a way that when others see me. They see Jesus living on the inside of me. I want them to know that I have been crucified with Christ and that I have prepared myself for Jesus’s return.
For you that are still unprepared for Jesus’s return.
I’m not sure about you. But God won’t allow us to worship and whine at the same time. When we praise God with our tongue, there is no room for complaining and murmuring. The two can’t come forth at the same time. Praise dispels fear, doubt, complaining, and worry. The next time you are under pressure as a Christian. Don’t stop talking about God and how strong He is.
Unbelievers are looking for us to remain true to what we believe.
What we say and what we do bring others to Jesus Christ. Therefore, be mindful of what you are talking about at home, at work, the church, the gym, the grocery store or your grandchildren’s ball games. There should be a steadfast determination to help people know who we belong to when they are around us. No matter where we are and how hard our challenges are. We should desire the theme of our life to be telling someone about Jesus. Rather than talking about our problems and pains.
Above that, we should continue to talk about how good and great our God is.
When we do this, I have discovered that people are far more willing than we think to tell us what they believe about God. By listening carefully, we can figure out ways to help them move closer toward God. The more I engaged in conversations, I can tell many desire a deep sense and need for God. During our time together, I have also discovered they are in a Red Zone of their spiritual journey. They are willing to connect or reconnect because Christ died for them.
As Christians, we should merely want to become messengers of the gospel, sharing God’s promises of eternal life and His promises to help us on our journey through life. We want others to know that God has forgiven all of our sins and that we all can have a personal relationship with Him.
Once we get people to this place, they will find an amazing church home and a local pastor that will continue to teach them the word of God. We just have to motivate people to get serious about their faith. In short, God’s number one priority for our lives is for us to become more and more like His son Jesus Christ every day.
Are you becoming more like Jesus?
In closing, just know that God is your strength and He has become your portion forever. Start preparing for His coming.
You have been summoned to come to the throne of grace boldly that you may find help in the time of need. The simple fact is that we can’t make it through life on our own. It’s too hard. It’s too heartbreaking. And. It’s too confusing. More than ever, you may be realizing that huge swaths of your life are simply not under your control.
If you’re going to thrive as you sojourn through life’s wastelands, you desperately need to prepare for God’s return. He is coming back.
You need God’s grace.
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