Thursday, January 26, 2012

Have You Prepared What You Are Taking With You When Jesus Calls?

Are you ready? Seriously, are you ready? So often we get ourselves ready for vacations, exams, even for emergencies. Here in Canada intelligent drivers carry a winter emergency kit in their car, just in case. We are also encouraged to have at least a three day supply of food and water on hand at all times in our homes. Students spend long hours in preparation for their exams. Parents spend nine months in preparation for the arrival of their baby, with eager anticipation. There are so many things that we spend time preparing for so shouldn't we also be preparing for eternity?

In fact, Jesus instructed us to be doing just that, preparing for the life to come:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

We are pretty distracted from what I can see, too busy storing up treasures here to give much consideration to the life to come. We allow worries, fears, anxieties, busyness, and plans all centered on self to distract us from the vehicles for storing up treasures in heaven, which are summarized by loving God and your neighbour. Paul gave this instruction to Timothy:

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (1 Timothy 6:18-19)

The reason it is important is because we have not been given the departure date. We have no idea when it will be time to go but we do know one thing, we aren't taking anything with us except those things we have sent on ahead of us. Our "treasures" will be waiting for us but everything else will be left behind to be destroyed:

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (1 Corinthians 15:50)

All those things that you have worked so hard for, all those treasures in this place, even the hard work you put into being physically beautiful will all be gone. It's going to happen so quickly you won't have time to pack a bag or even prepare yourself. You need to be prepared to go at every moment of every day:

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

In a flash we will all be changed so that we can take the voyage; so that we can move from this life into what is real life. All our tiny problems, useless plans, wrong priorities will be left behind. There will be no time for preparation so we must make sure that every moment of every day our goal is to know Jesus more, to love our neighbour as ourselves. Now is the time to be storing up those treasures, those acts of kindness, the acts of love and compassion. Now is the time to go as deep as we can with Jesus so that our heart fully belongs to him. Now is the time because when that trumpet blows our time will be up. When it does blow I think we will realize how much time we wasted on things that have no importance. Perhaps it is better for us to evaluate that now and make the changes that are necessary so that we are investing in eternity instead of in this temporary land of shadows.

Are you ready?

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