Are You Ready?
Christmas is coming. Are you ready? Decorations up? Gifts bought? Gifts wrapped? Cards sent? Parties planned? Cookies baked? It can be overwhelming. Many procrastinate or ignore it altogether.
That’s even truer when it comes to seeing Jesus face to face. Many avoid talking about it. Some aren’t sure how to prepare.
If you were to die tonight would you be ready?
Over the years I’ve asked that question to different individuals. The most common response: “I hope so.” That’s frightening! Last time I checked 10 out of 10 die. Our eternal future is too important to take a gamble on.
When I further press people they look back on their life. “I’ve been a pretty good person. I haven’t done anything terrible. I try my best.” Take note of what they put their hope in.
I recently came across an article where a young Mormon man was threatened by the possibility of death. He wrote: “I pondered my weaknesses and almost instantly realized that my conscience was clean. I had no major regrets in my life and felt that I had apologized to all the people I had been unkind to.” He hangs his hope on his ability to try and leave sin behind him. At the end of the day, it all depends on him.
If you were faced with imminent death, who would you focus on in that moment? That answer reveals where you put your hope.
Three royal advisors in Babylon faced that situation. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to the king’s image of gold. They were threatened with death in a blazing furnace. Listen to their confession: “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand” (Daniel 3:17). Their unflinching focus was on the LORD and his saving promises. Faced with the prospect of death, they had confidence and peace.
Imagine you see a long line of smoke on the horizon. A fierce wildfire is approaching. You might try to protect your home with a controlled burn around the perimeter. Why? Because the flames can’t touch where the fire has already been.
Jesus faced the fire of God’s wrath over sin. He took the punishment we all had coming. He removed your sins so that the flames would never reach you.
The flames are getting closer. The day is drawing nearer. If you’re focused on your efforts, you’ll hope in vain that it won’t reach you.
Friends, fix your eyes on Jesus. Stand alongside the failsafe protection of his perfect life and innocent death. You won’t have to hope you’re safe. You’ll know it for sure.
So, are you ready to see Jesus face to face? Absolutely! Look forward to it. Let your joy overflow so that many more will also be ready.