Sunday, February 5, 2012

Are You Preparing? (Part 1)

We heard a great message this morning about how we are created for God's pleasure. (Rev. Chapter 4).  As a matter of fact, God created everything for His pleasure. How many times do we all get off track by thinking God created us to just to bless us? Certainly, God does bless, but that's not the reason (according to Scripture) that you and I were created. We are created to bring Him pleasure, by doing His will. Did you catch that? His will...not yours and mine. Pleasing God requires giving up our will and our desires for His. This blesses God! When God is blessed...we are blessed!

Pastor Jimmy Williams went on teaching us that God's will is not to save us JUST so we won't go to hell. His will is not to save us JUST we will go to heaven either. But He saved us to follow after Him, every single day...throughout all eternity. This brings our God much pleasure. Why would anyone want to live eternally with Jesus who is not willing to walk with Him daily here on the earth? Just asking.

This made me think of something I read earlier in the day from Matthew 25. The Chapter starts with Jesus' analogy of 10 virgins who were brides maids. The Bible says 5 were prudent, but 5 were foolish. The 5 prudent maids brought lamps with them and enough oil in flasks to get them through the night in case the bride groom delayed. In this way they were prepared for his return. But the 5 prudent only brought their lamps. They were not prepared for his return. At about midnight the cry went out that the bridegroom was coming. The 5 foolish virgins pleaded with the 5 prudent virgins for some of their oil. The 5 prudent said, "No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves." The 5 foolish dashed to town to try to buy oil for their lamps. As they were going the bride groom came and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Since the bride  groom returned in the deepest part of the night, it was probably several hours until the foolish virgins could purchase their oil. When they returned they cried out, "Lord, lord, open up for us. But he answered, "Truly I say to you, I do not know you." Jesus ended the analogy with these words, "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."

The message this morning made me think. The only way to be prepared for Jesus' return is to follow Him daily. I cannot live for myself and expect to be ready when He returns. If I am deluded into thinking that since I prayed the sinner's prayer I can live any way I want to, I won't be prepared for His return. In the analogy of the 10 virgins the Bible makes it clear they were all brides maids. But those 5 who were not prepared for the bride groom's return did not make it in. Jesus said some very sobering words, "I do not know you".

Jesus also said in Matthew Chapter 24, "But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into." I don't know why this head of the house was not on the alert when the thief came, but because He was not, his house was broken into. These incidences tell us the we must be expecting Jesus' return. In addition we must live for Him because we cannot guarantee our next breath. Salvation is not a free pass to get out of hell any more than it is a free pass into heaven. Salvation is God's incredible plan to reconcile mankind to Himself, and from day one, begin a walk with Him that leads us throughout eternity. And remember, this brings HIM pleasure. As we bring pleasure to Him, we are preparing for the return of the One we follow! (Part 2 on the way.)

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