How many of you go camping? How do you prepare for a camping trip?
Do any of you bake? How do you prepare to bake?
Does preparing look the same for every activity? Are there any similarities?
If I was told I had to take an Algebra 2 test, I would need to prepare. I was pretty good at algebra, but it’s been a minute since I had to use a lot of it. I would need to review and even re-learn a lot of the material before I could pass the test. On the other hand, if I were told I was going to take a 1st grade math test, I wouldn’t prepare. I know that I know everything that’d be on the test and no preparation would be necessary. You can spring a 1st grade math test on me at any time and I am ready, I am always prepared because I just know the stuff.
Read Matthew 24:42-51:
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
-Matthew 24:42-51 (NIV)
What do you think it looks like to be prepared to meet God?
How do we know if we are prepared?
Read Romans 13:8-14:
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”
-Romans 13:8-14 (NIV)
Read Micah 6:8:
“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
-Micah 6:8 (NIV)
These words are not telling us that it is our job to give people what they want, or to make everyone happy. A lot of people confuse enabling or people pleasing with love. Real love corrects. Real love says hard things, but not to hurt, to help. Real love listens and accepts correction.
There is a lot we can do to prepare – it can even be overwhelming. God doesn’t expect us to have all our ducks in a row. He wants us to be willing to get our ducks in a row when we learn they are out of line. He sees our hearts.
How willing are you?