Mark 13:32-33 - (Jesus said) "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come."
It is an old joke that mothers say to their children: "Make sure you have clean underwear on. What if you got hit by a bus? Would you want the paramedics to see you in that?" The joke is semi-serious, though; we all have things we do on the principle of "What if?" What if I have a car accident? Better wear my seat belt. What if my child gets sick at school? I'd better carry my phone. What if that friendly person in the breakroom turns out to be a major gossip? I'd better not tell him all the details about my family problems. I don't want them to be all over the office tomorrow.
Now we don't usually obsess about these things. We consider the possibilities; we decide what is the wise thing to do; and then we head back to the underwear drawer -- or we buckle our seatbelts -- or we change the subject at the lunch table. Then we move on. The same is true for Jesus' return. He has not called us to be continually upset, worrying every day about His possible return, and never able to focus on our work or our families or our recreation. No, rather, we take wise precautions, and we go on with our lives.
What are those precautions? Well, the big one has to do with our faith: as in where we stand with Jesus. Do we know and trust Him as our Savior, the God who loves us so much He suffered and died -- and rose again! for our sake? If so, His return will be a great thing for us -- the best thing that ever was -- something we can look forward to with joy. Because we trust in Him, our sins are forgiven, and our shame is covered up. We don't need to fear His coming. We can rejoice in it, as we should.
But there are naturally other things we want to do, too. If you know your favorite relative is coming to stay, you clean the house, right? You mow the lawn, wash the car, or get those tickets for the big game you plan to see together. In the same way, we prepare for Jesus' coming. When He comes, I want Him to find me doing the work He gave me: my work as a parent, as a spouse, as a neighbor, as someone who has a job to do right. I will be happy if He catches me praying or cooking for my family or helping a child with her homework. It will be fine if He catches me changing the oil in someone's car, walking their dog, or packing up furniture to donate to a refugee. If He catches me doing something that glorifies God and loves my neighbor, that will be just fine.
What would you like Him to catch you doing?
THE PRAYER: Lord, make my heart ready for Your coming. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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