March 16, 2012

MT 24:42,44 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

This week has certainly been a lesson in the unpredictability of when we will meet the Lord. However, God does know, and He enables those who are committed to Him to be prepared. It is a minor and relatively unimportant detail, but the man whose funeral I did yesterday had gotten a haircut the very day he was called home, so he looked really good in the casket. In parts of the Southern US, signs that say “Prepare to meet your Maker” or something similar are almost a tradition. On those mountain roads they seem like a good idea! However, in general they are laughed at, because laughter is a refuge in which we hide from the reality of our own mortality. Hiding does no good! The point, as Jesus says clearly in this passage, is to be faithful at whatever tasks the Lord has assigned to you so that whenever He shows up, either for you individually or at the end of the Age, you will be commended and not reprimanded or worse.

I’ve been involved in enough funerals to have a grasp of this issue, and I can honestly say it was a joy to do the one just passed, because he loved the Lord and lived accordingly, and I could say without hesitation that he is rejoicing in heaven right now. I have been amazed at the little details along the way, as the Lord has arranged things to help the man’s widow and son adjust to what is a drastically new reality to them. There was family reconciliation and clear communication of the Gospel, and too many good things to mention, even that I’m aware of, and I know there was much more that I know nothing about. Personally, I need to be careful that I am at my assigned tasks, working faithfully without either complaining or sloughing off. I need to keep pressing in for deeper fellowship with my Lord, so that when the transition comes, it will be pure joy. That means keeping my repentance up to date, not letting anything build up that would be a barrier between me and my Lord. As a pastor, I need to encourage others to do likewise. That doesn’t mean standing over them with a glower, thundering, “You’re going to die!” That would certainly be counterproductive! However, I need to remind them that “it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful,” (1 Corinthians 4:2) and we have all been entrusted with many things by God.

Father, I feel like I have at least three or four messages I’d like to share with the flock, springing from the events of this week. Help me know what You want fed to them when, so that they may have hearts to receive and appetite for more, to grow strong in Christ as You desire and intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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