An Encouraging Word


I’ve never been very good at packing in advance.

When I was a boy, our family would go on vacations to various places, and there was always packing going on until the very last minute…and sometimes a little beyond.  We scrambled to get ready because we knew that the better prepared we were, the more fun we would have.

Been there?

Later in life, I entered the work world.  Though thankfully it wasn’t a regular occurrence, I remember days at various companies where I had a performance review or manager’s visit coming up and I found myself scurrying around trying to look busy.  I scrambled to get things done because I knew the better prepared I was, the less likely I would be to get in trouble.

Sound familiar?

The Bible says in many places that Jesus is coming again.  He will take His sons and daughters away to be with Him in a New Heaven and a New Earth, and it will be a new life for us that will be very, very good.

When Jesus talks about it, He often uses the language of “being ready” for when He comes, like He does here in Matthew 24:44, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

The question is, what does He mean?

Does He mean, “Be ready, because if I catch you doing something wrong you are in SO much trouble…” or does He mean “Be ready, because I don’t want you to miss a bit of the wonderful things I have planned for you“?

The Bible is clear that judgment and wrath await those who refuse to trust Jesus for salvation, but that for believers, the level of our reward will be determined by the level of our obedience.

That is what Jesus is talking about.

He loves to bless His people, to lavish His grace upon us and display His glory through us.  His desire, then, is not that we would live in fear of not having “done enough” to pacify Him when He comes, but that we would live in joyous anticipation of His reward, and use our life now to participate with Him as much as we can.

He is coming soon, so may you use your time wisely in His service, not out of fear, but out of the joy of future delight.

-Pastor Phillip

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