READY OR NOT
There's Storm Rising In The Desert
I've been thinking a lot about current affairs. There are two schools of thought about what the Christian's role is in these days. We know that Jesus is coming soon. All of the crazy that is happening is pointing in that direction. Jesus said that we don't know the hour or the day, but He did say to the Pharisees "You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?" Luke 12:56
Many of us can see the storm brewing but why is it that some are not bold, while others are screaming their lungs out trying to wake people up? I was recently scolded by someone I care for, about my delivery on these issues, and was reminded to read Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation. I have and I do actually often listen to these words as I lay in bed at night. I have said before that my reading comprehension is not great as I get distracted easily. However, I have a secret that has helped me to stay focused. That secret is listening to the Word of God being read aloud on my Bible app. I listen every night with intent. I've come to love the prophetic words of Daniel, Ezekiel and John. They give me hope that evil will be destroyed and Christ will reign!
Another thing I have started is watching The Chosen, as I have mentioned. I'm never too crazy about how Jesus' life is portrayed by film makers. Some of it just doesn't seem relatable to the every day modern person. This show is different. It displays the human qualities that are often not shown in other depictions of Jesus' life. Like I said before, when I Imagine Jesus, I see Him as relatable to every situation.
I was watching an episode just last night where Jesus was speaking a parable about servants who wait for their master who has gone to a wedding feast. They don't know when He will return, so where do they wait? The answer, At the gate! We are waiting for Jesus return. Our Lord and Our God is coming back soon! We don't know when, but soon. The interesting thing that struck me about this was the conversation Jesus was having went a little different than scripture account. Jesus asked questions like, "What if the servants got tired and laid on the master's bed?" Are we laying in comfort while we wait? He also stated, "a good servant waits with their lamps trimmed and lit."
Okay, so what does that mean? Are we just standing around waiting? I think the lamps in this parable are significant. Jesus doesn't need us to light His way back to us. Others need us to light the way to God, to shine the truth of the Gospel. Even more so to hold the light up and expose the deeds of darkness that have deceived man for centuries. To be that beacon in this dark world filled with lies and deception.
The master will return, but we the servants must bear the light of the Gospel for those who are lost to help them find their way. The master will be looking for us who are shining the light on the way. I love what the scripture says about this, "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will prepare himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and he will come up and serve them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves." Luke 12:37-38
That is great stuff right there. For the servants who are alert and ready for his return, the master will honor by serving them, because they were ready. Imagine Jesus coming back to earth to shouts of joy and praise that the Lord has returned! Imagine Jesus smiling at those who are ready for His return and who haven't laid down, but stayed vigilant and kept their lights shining brightly in the darkness. Christianity isn't a spectator sport. We are given armor because this life is a spiritual battle. Paul speaks of it on numerous occasions.
When I read about all of what Jesus said and did, I am reminded that he was very bold when it came to exposing the darkness, especially the lies of the Pharisees. They were the leaders of His day and they lost the truth of the scripture because of traditions and worship of the law rather than worship of the God who gave them the law. They were upside-down and pious which made them unable to see that God was standing in their midst.
In this one episode of The Chosen, Jesus was talking to Nicodemus. The account of this conversation in the book of John is very short. It is as if God only wanted us to see the important bits John 3:16 & 17, and imagine the rest. The writers of this show have elaborated and while it takes some liberty, I could really see how the conversation with Nicodemus could have gone exactly as they portrayed. What if Nicodemus was open to Jesus being God's son, while other pharisees were closed-minded? Why did he come to Jesus at night? It is, after all, completely feasible that He had a more intimate relationship with God and was not so bound by tradition but was being lead by God's spirit. It brings me to tears to watch the interaction between this man and Jesus as he realizes he is standing in the presence of the Son of God. Will my reaction be as his was? Will I fall to my knees and kiss his hand? The coolest thing is when Jesus hugs Nicodemus. Imagine being hugged by God in the flesh! How could you contain your joy? I believe I would just melt in His arms totally surrendered crying like a baby!
This is our Master, our Savior, our God! His love for us is this - that God sent His son into the world that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life in the presence of God. Not to condemn, but bring life to all who believe.
In this life we will have trouble, but we are told to take heart because Jesus overcame the world. We are not of this world, just like He was not of this world, but we are his servants, his warriors in this world, waiting for Him to return. If we don't shine a light on the deeds of darkness, then are we truly prepared for that day?
Imagine Jesus handing us our armor, and helping us to put each piece in place. The armor fits perfectly because it was designed just for us. When we are fully dressed, he hands us a sword. That sword exposes the evil because it is the truth, the living words of God himself. Every battle we fight gives us courage and strength to fight the next one. We are surrounded by hosts of angels that we cannot see. We have the Spirit of God dwelling inside of us. There is nothing that should frighten us or keep us quiet. Imagine Jesus with his hand on your shoulder and a smile on his face, "You've got this my young friend! I will never leave your side. The battle belongs to the Lord's army."
We were not given armor to stand on the sidelines
and cheer on the angels. This isn't baseball!
Luke 12:35-59 "Be prepared, and keep your lamps lit. You are also to be like people who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door for him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will prepare himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and he will come up and serve them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
“But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You too, be ready; because the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not think He will.”
Peter said, “Lord, are You telling this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?”And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says in his heart, ‘My master will take a long time to come,’ and he begins to beat the other slaves, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk; then the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect, and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in two, and assign him a place with the unbelievers. And that slave who knew his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accordance with his will, will receive many blows, but the one who did not know it, and committed acts deserving of a beating, will receive only a few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you think that I came to provide peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
And He was also saying to the crowds, “Whenever you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. And whenever you feel a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you do not know how to analyze this present time?
“And why do you not even judge by yourselves what is right? For when you are going with your accuser to appear before the magistrate, on the way, make an effort to settle with him, so that he does not drag you before the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out of there until you have paid up the very last lepton.”