Saturday, August 8, 2015

Waiting well: Living like we believe


"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12:39-40 NASB)

Our Waiting Well series began a with a post on serving faithfully, followed by keeping our lamps litwaiting for the bridegroom to return from the marriage feastour response to His knock, and the response of Christ to us when we open the door to His knock. Yesterday, we considered the importance of being ready to serve in the night watches.  (Click on the link to read the earlier posts.)

In the six verses considered in the Waiting Well series, Jesus repeatedly said, "Be ready, Be ready." He had't gone back to heaven yet, but already He was preparing His disciples for His return. Be ready. I'm coming when you don't expect it. Be ready.

I'm ready to hear something else. My heart says, "Enough!" And then I remembered something important. When Jesus repeated Himself, it was for a reason. 

In this instance, He understood that our tendency is to become so wrapped up in our own little worlds, our own little lives, that we forget about our big eternal lives and our enormously powerful King who will return for us one day. 

We forget that this life we are living is not all the living we will do.

Last night, as I prepared for bed, I checked all the doors and locked them. I don't expect a thief or a home invasion, but I locked my doors to prevent that possibility. Every single night, I lock my doors against that possibility. The doors aren't always locked in the daytime, especially if I'm moving in and out from house to barn. You can be sure they'd be locked though, if I knew a thief was headed my way.

With that same preventive expectation, we need to be ready for Jesus. Consistently prepared. 

I'm ready to move on to different Scripture. These "being ready" verses seem so... same.

Today, I realized something new. Jesus hammered this point because He wants us to live with eternity in mind. To be intentional.

I locked my doors with a thief in mind.  

What if we lived our lives, made our choices, our routines, with eternity in mind? How would it change our actions? Our words? 

Would we say the same things, do the same things, if we thought Jesus would arrive on the scene for us before the words were out, the action completed?

This emphasis on being ready was for a reason. We are to live ready. The promise of eternity should change everything we do, mold every word we speak.  

Our King is coming, and we should be living like we believe it. 

When the world sees us, they should see people who expect their Sovereign King to split the sky and step into view at any moment. Let's be sure they do.
~~~~~~~
Our Father, who lives and reigns in Heaven, help us to live as if you were returning today. Let us show the world how the hope of eternal life in Christ changes everything. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Friday, August 7, 2015

Waiting Well: Ready to Serve, No Matter How Late



"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves." (Luke 12: 35-38 NASB)

Our Waiting Well series began a with a post on serving faithfully, followed by keeping our lamps litwaiting for the bridegroom to return from the marriage feast, and our response to His knock. Yesterday, we looked at  the response of Christ to us when we open the door to His knock
(Click on the link to read the earlier posts.)

Today, we turn to the issue of the watch. To understand the "watch", we need to understand the Jewish method of keeping time. The day was twelve hours long. (John 11:9) The first hour of the day began at 6 am, which is basically at sunrise. Ex - 2:00 pm (our time) is the eighth hour. 

The night was also considered to be twelve hours, and began at 6 pm. It was divided into four three-hour watches. (These are the watches during which a watchman, guarding the city by watching for invaders, would be on the lookout.) 

The first watch is 6pm-9pm. 
The second watch is 9pm-12 pm.
The third watch is 12 midnight to 3 am.
The fourth watch is 3 am to 6 am.

In today's focus scripture, Jesus tells His disciples, "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so (dressed and waiting), blessed are those slaves." Whether it is at our death or at the time of His second coming, we are to be ready and waiting. 

Servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding party might reasonably expect him to return in the first watch, but second watch would be late, especially in a time without electric lights. The third watch would be very late for a returning master. A faithful waiting servant, however, would still be ready to serve when the master returns, no matter the hour.

We, too, are to be ready to serve, no matter how long our Lord delays. No matter our age. No matter how much service we have given before. You might not have noticed, but there is a blessing for those who are still up, ready to serve, at the late hour. "Blessed are those slaves."

When we continue to serve Christ, even into the second and third watch of our lives, He takes note. He blesses.  When we continue to serve Christ in a dark and frightening world, despite His delayed return, He takes note. He blesses.

It is easy to serve so long, with so little recognition, that we begin to think no one notices. No one cares about our service. Take heart. Our Lord notices. He cares.

Press on. Your service is not in vain. It has not been overlooked.
~~~~~~~
Our Father, help me to endure, to persevere, in righteousness and good works, no matter how dark the night around me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Waiting Well: When Jesus Enters, He Serves




"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. " (Luke 12: 35-38 NASB)

Our Waiting Well series began a with a post on serving faithfully, followed by keeping our lamps lit, and waiting for the bridegroom to return from the marriage feast. Yesterday, we looked at our response to His knock. (Click on the link to read the earlier posts.) Today, we turn to the response of Christ to us when we open the door to His knock.


Our topic today is one of the great ironies of our faith. Jesus gave clear instructions that we are to be ready as servants waiting for their master. Dressed, lamp lit, we are to listen for His knock at the door, open it immediately, and welcome Him at His return. 


We will fling the door wide, expecting to serve the One our heart most loves and what will happen? Our Master will stride in the door, hitch up his robes, and begin to minister to us, instead. He will have us sit at the table and He will serve us. 


On His return, the Suffering Servant will be the Serving Master.


Lest you think this is not really service, the Greek word translated as "serve" is diakoneō  and literally means "to serve food and drink at the table". 


At the very moment when I should welcome Him with refreshment, He will serve me, instead.


Why? Why would the Creator and King serve me, His servant? Because He loves me. Because He sets an example that I should follow. 


He serves because serving others is the very nature of Christ and He never stops serving.

Christ's heart for service should be my heart, as well. Even when I think others should serve me, I will serve, instead, if I am following the example of Jesus. 

But do I? 

Our King is coming and it is our job to welcome Him, serving faithfully until the moment He enters the door. What a glorious entrance that will be!

The King is coming. Be ready.
~~~~~~~
Our Father, thank you for Jesus' example of serving others. Help me to serve others with the same happy heart of love with which Christ serves. Make me a blessing to someone today. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting Well: Our Response to the Knock on the Door



"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12: 35-40 NASB)

Our Waiting Well series began a with a post on serving faithfully, followed by keeping our lamps lit. Yesterday, we looked at waiting for the bridegroom to return from the marriage feast. Today we turn to our response when the Master knocks.


Jesus said we are to be ready for His return in the same way that servants wait for their master to return from the wedding feast. They are dressed, awake, and alert. The house is secured, the doors locked to protect what is inside. 


At the moment the master knocks, the waiting servants fling open the door immediately. Without a second of delay, they welcome Him home because they have been waiting with eager expectation.


We are to be waiting for the return of Christ with that same eager expectation, ready to receive Him with open arms, open hearts, and open doors. 

We look forward to Christ's return because we love Him, because He is the bridegroom for His church and we belong to Him. We are His and He is ours. He is the one our heart most desires, and we look forward to seeing Him, just as we would a long-delayed but much-loved relative.


One day, the trumpets will blow, the sky will split, and King Jesus will appear. It will be a glorious day. 


The King is coming. Be ready.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB (1)


(1) http://bible.com/100/1th.4.16-17.nasb
~~~~~~~

Our Father, Thank you for sending Jesus to save sinners like me. Thank you that He is coming again. Create in me a clean, ready heart, eager to meet my Lord. Help me to stay ready. In Jesus' precious name, Amen.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Waiting well: Waiting for the Bridegroom



"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12: 35-40 NASB)

Our Waiting Well series began a with a post on serving faithfully. Yesterday, we looked at the issue of keeping our lamps lit

Today, we turn to the issue of servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast. A Jewish wedding in Jesus' time was not like our modern weddings. The marriage was arranged and a period of betrothal followed. During this time, both the bride and groom prepared themselves for the marriage. The bride prepared by making her wedding garments and purifying herself. The groom prepared by "preparing a place for her" in his father's house. He would build an addition (insula) onto the father's house where the two would live. 

Only the groom's father could decide when the addition was ready. When he gave the groom the happy news, he and his groomsmen would go for his bride. The marriage would be consummated and a week-long celebratory feast would follow. 

His servants would be on the alert, waiting for the groom (their master) to return with his bride. It was a time of great rejoicing. Because the bride would be coming to her new home for the first time, everyone there would want the preparations to be complete to welcome her. The servants would be charged with staying ready.

In that same way, Our Lord Jesus has gone to His Father's house to prepare a place for us. Only our Heavenly Father can say when the preparations are complete, but when He does, Jesus will return for His bride. When he returns, there will be no delays. He will be ready, and we must be, too.

We are to be alert, waiting for our Lord, Jesus, with joyful expectation. Our waiting is to be as servants waiting for their master. There's no way to know when he will come, but we must be ready, preparations complete. We can be confident that, at the end of our waiting, there will be great rejoicing. 

All the preparation, all the waiting will be worth it when Jesus appears.

The amazing, inscrutable part of this is that we wait as servants but the bride for whom Jesus comes is the church. We're not just waiting for our Master. We're waiting for our bridegroom.

We aren't waiting for a destination (heaven). We're waiting for a person with whom we have a precious relationship. Jesus. 

He's coming again. Be ready.
~~~~~~~
Our Father in Heaven, Thank you for the preparations being made for the bride of Christ. Thank you that Jesus will return for His own. Help me to prepare for His return and to stay ready for Him. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Teach us to pray, part 58: The Holy Spirit as companion and teacher

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13 NASB)

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. 2 Cor. 13:14 NASB


"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:16-17, 26 NASB)

Jesus described the Holy Spirit as a helper who is with us forever. He is the Spirit of Truth and not only teaches us what we need to know but helps us to remember the words of Christ. It is our job to commit those words of Christ to memory, but the Spirit is the One who brings them to our mind at just the right time. 

When we are in a frightening situation and suddenly remember the verse we learned as children, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee," (Psalm 56:3) it is the Spirit of God that has brought that truth to mind. When we remember words of Christ, it is the Spirit of God that brings them to mind. When that Still, Small Voice speaks in our heart, it is the Holy Spirit speaking in us.

If love is the characteristic that marks God the Father, and grace abounds in Jesus Christ, then fellowship, companionship is the prime characteristic of the Spirit. Jesus promised that He would not leave us alone, would not forsake us, and He did not. His Spirit remains as our constant companion and, because of that, we are never alone. 

In our heartbreak, our struggles, our trials, our loneliness, His Spirit is with us and, if we allow, will give comfort, as well as strength to persevere and overcome whatever we face. We can have that Still, Small Voice as our constant companion, and we, too, can say, "My best friend is Jesus."

God's gift of the Holy Spirit is available to us in as much measure as we need or want. Imagine that. All we have to do is ask. As we pray, then, let us ask that God's Spirit would not just work in our lives but fill us with the sweet aroma of Christ, that we might infuse our world with Him. Lord, give us the Spirit as You will, and as much of Him as we are willing to receive.




Teach us to pray, part 30:Thy Kingdom Come/heaven-style worship



And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. 'Give us each day our daily bread. 'And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" (Luke 11:2-4 NASB)

We began a study of the Kingdom of God yesterday to help us understand Jesus' prayer, "Your kingdom come." Today, we consider the Kingdom of God as it currently is in heaven. Perhaps the first thing we need to understand is that it is the dwelling place of God and He has established His great white throne there. (Rev. 20:11) An emerald rainbow surrounds the throne and lightning and flashes of thunder emanate from it. (Rev. 4:1-4) God is in charge, and what he says goes. (Isaiah 6:1-5)

There is a golden altar before the throne of God (Rev. 8:13). Golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, sit before God on the altar as a sweet smelling sacrifice. (Rev. 5:8) Our prayers are so precious to God that they are ever before Him as a pleasing aroma.

We will not be wearing crowns to indicate our status or our service. Any service we have done that earns a crown will have been done for God, not for self. If we earn any crowns on this earth, they will be deposited at the feet of God, because it was all done for Him in the first place. (Rev. 4:10)

The only ones who will be in heaven are those who have their name in the book of life. (Rev 3:5). It will not matter how many good deeds we did, how much money or time we gave to worthy causes, or how many church services we attended. Our name goes in that book of life based on our relationship to our Lord. If our name is not there, we will not be getting in the gate, so we do well to consider our relationship to Christ. (Rev. 3:5) 

There is no sorrow, death, crying, or pain in heaven. (Rev. 21:1-5) There is also no sin in heaven. Instead, righteousness dwells there. (2 Peter 3:13)

Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and ever makes intercession for us. He prays for us continually. (Heb. 7:25) He is the only one in heaven who does intercede with God for us. (1 Tim. 2:5) 

There are many rooms in heaven and Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. He will come back and take us to our eternal heavenly home. (John 14:2-4) There will be no segregation there. It is not divided according to skin color or nation of origin, nor by socioeconomic status or the number of good deeds we performed here on earth.

We will not be married in heaven. (Matt. 22:29-33) Instead, we will "be like the angels". There is a mistaken idea that we become angels, but Scripture does not say that at all. There are "innumerable angels" there, serving as messengers of God. (Heb. 12:22) We will not become an angel. Instead, we are "like" angels in that they are not married. Angels exist to do the bidding of God and offer praise continuously. If we are like angels, that's what we will be doing, too. (Isaiah 6:1-7). Our song will be "Holy, Holy, Holy". If you don't like praising God here on earth, that should give you pause, because we will be praising God in heaven, and doing so continuously. It will be one non-stop praise and worship service. 

There is a great multitude of people who have died and gone to heaven and they are at the heavenly worship service. They are all clothed in white and, according to John, they are carrying palm branches and are before the throne of God, praising Him and bowing down to Him. 

Those in heaven can see us, and are cheering us on in our efforts to live the life of a disciple. (Heb. 12:1) but they do not return to us as angelic beings. They watch from heaven.

It is worth considering what a worship service in heaven looks like in comparison with one here on earth. In heaven, no one is constrained by the watchful eye of the other people in the pews. No one holds back because of timidity or fear. In heaven, everyone has on the same white robe and everyone has the same palm branches. We will all raise our arms and lift our hands toward God as we wave the palm branches before the throne of God. It is a very exciting time of worship, with all the people, palm branches, singing, and thunder and lightning happening, and we will bow before Him. We will probably be on our knees, face down before Him and we will be singing enthusiastically. We will not be frowning or grumbling about the music. No one will refuse to sing because they don't like the song. We will choose to sing because we love our Lord and because the music pleases Him. 

If the worship in heaven is so enthusiastic, and it is, should not my worship on earth be just as enthusiastic? In eternity, I'm going to be bowing before God, singing to Him, and waving my palm branch. Everything, everything will be about Him. If that is true, and it is, then I need to be preparing for that day now by the way I worship here. 

As I read these words, I wonder how many times my corporate worship has looked like heavenly worship. The vast majority of times, it is so constrained as to be unrecognizable as heavenly worship at all. Why not join with me in heavenly-styled worship, enthusiastic and unrestrained, full of joy and love for the One who gave Himself for us? As we approach our celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord, let's worship Him the way He longs to be worshipped, heaven-style, with unrestrained love for the One who first loved us.







The Lamp of the Body



“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” (Luke 11:33-36 NIV)

Jesus transitioned from His discussion about signs to a discussion about light. Matthew Henry includes these verses as part of the section concerning signs. At first glance, the two passages seem discordant, but, on closer inspection, they are not.


The "sign of the Son of Man", the resurrection of Jesus, would be the only sign they would be given, He told the crowds. It would be the sign that made the truth about Him clear. His truth, then, is like a lamp that gives illumination to those who are uncertain. 


The word translated as lamp is lychnos and indicates a small, hand-held oil lamp like the one in the photo above. The lamp gives just enough light for the one holding it to see the next step or two. The word translated as "lights" (as in "lights the lamp") is haptō and is a word that indicates "fastening" or adhering the flame to the lamp.  


This idea of adhering the light of Christ (hapto) has been discussed in previous posts and you can read them: here and also here.

Jesus reminded his listeners that a lamp, once lit, is placed on a lampstand to provide lamp to all within the room. In that same way, the light of Christ, His truth, has not been hidden away. It is not obscure or so difficult that it cannot be understood. His light is available for all who will have it. 

We will consider allowing the light to fill our lives tomorrow, but for today, let's focus on our desire to have the light. Do we want the truth of Christ to fill our being? Are we willing to allow Him to illuminate every corner of our lives with His truth? If we are honest, there are times when we'd rather snuggle into a little darkness. It is when we allow the light into every area of our lives, dispelling the darkness, that we find joy infusing our being. Our temptation is to embrace the darkness, at least in part, but our call is to the light. It is a struggle, and one we will battle until we enter eternity, but it is a struggle we must win.

We must have the light of Christ, for it is only through His light that the cold darkness in our soul can be replaced with the warmth of His love. For today, let us choose the light of Christ, His truth, and pray that those we love will choose His light for their lives, as well.






Waiting Well: Keep your lamps lit



"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12: 35-40 NASB)

"Keep your lamps lit," Jesus told his disciples. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:22), He said, "The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light." The word translated as "clear" is haplous, and refers to singleness of purpose. 

"Keep your lamps lit" implies that the fire can go out; our ardor can dim. How do we prevent this dimming of our light? We've studied this before. In Luke 11:33-35, the word used to describe lighting the lamp is hapto, which means "to fasten". In a way, the light of Christ, the flame of His love in us, should be attached to our hearts, stuck like glue. You can read more about this lamp of our bodyfastening the fire, and serving faithfully every day by clicking on the links. 

In this passage, I believe Jesus is saying persevere in faith with singleness of purpose and devotion. Don't let your ardor for Him cool. Don't get distracted or race after the things of this world.

It's our responsibility to "tend the fire", to keep the flame burning. Bible study, prayer, worship and obedience to His Still, Small Voice all help to keep our fire burning. Is your flame flickering? Is it in danger of going out? Be still before our Lord. Open your Bible and stay there until you have fresh encouragement, fresh hope, fresh fire.

Do what it takes to keep your flame burning.

Be ready. 

The King is coming.
~~~~~~~
Our Father, forgive the flickering flame of our faith. Kindle in us the fire that only comes from closeness with You. Help us to shine our light in such a way that others are drawn to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
















Sunday, August 2, 2015

Waiting well: Serving Faithfully, Every Day



"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into. You, too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect." (Luke 12: 35-40 NASB)

This passage has so many layers that it may take some time to work our way through it. The first point to note is that we are to be ever vigilant, always ready. Jesus makes it clear that we are to wait as servants prepared for our master. When the master is expected, the servants don't go to bed to wait at their leisure for his call. Instead, they stand, dressed and ready, in order to serve as soon as the master appears.

We, too, as bondservants of Christ, are to remain completely ready for His return. There are two returns for which we wait. The first is that time when our Lord will call us to our eternal reward at our death. If we have remained faithful, we will enter heaven with joy and hear those beautiful words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." The other return for which we are waiting is His Second Coming. (more later on this)

A critical part of remaining faithful to our Lord is waiting well. A servant who is dressed in readiness with his lamps lit is one who is still actively serving. "I did my part when my kids were little," will not be an adequate excuse for choosing not to serve Him in later years. God has places of service for each of us, and He expects us to serve, no matter our age. 

A servant who is dressed in readiness with his lamps lit is one who is actively serving his master. "I'm too busy with my children and my family," will also not be an adequate excuse for choosing not to serve our Lord. Our children and family must have a high priority, but we are to set an example of service for our children to model. 

The Proverbs 31 woman is an excellent example of service. "She extends her hand to the poor, and she stretches out her hand to the needy." (Proverbs 31:20 NASB) In the midst of caring for her family, she finds ways to care for those in need, as well.

If my focus is only on my family, my children, my priorities, I'm missing the point. As a servant of Christ, I am called to serve Him in the world around me. My life is about more than me and mine. Loving my neighbor as myself requires that I am active in loving my neighbor.

Our lives are short. Our days are numbered. None of us know when our own death will come. Though I expect to live for several more decades, those expected years are not promised to me. I must live as if today were to be my last. 

At every moment, I am one breath away from eternity, one step from meeting my Lord Jesus face to face. Whether He gives me more breaths, more steps on this earth or not, I need to live as if each were my last. I need to live as if the action, the thought, the words spoken, will be the ones with which I greet Him as I step into heaven.

The promise of eternity infuses every moment of my life with hope and with accountability. Jesus sees it all. One day, we will be held to account for how we chose to live this life. Let's be sure we live it as faithful servants, dressed and ready, serving every moment until we see Him face to face.
~~~~~~~
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the way I have used my time, my resources, my talents, to serve myself more than You. Help me to live my days in such a way that I will be a faithful ready servant for You. In Jesus' name. Amen