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A State of Readiness
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April 3, 2012 Ė A State of Readiness
43 But understand this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into. Ė Matthew 24:43 AMP
In todayís verse, Jesus is warning about His second coming. We must all be ready for Jesusí imminent return or be counted with the hypocrites and unbelievers. If we are not prepared, we will miss the Rapture. Jesus compares this event to someoneís house being broken into.
Letís suppose you have moved into a new house and have gone to the local hardware store to purchase a few extra towel rods for one of the bathrooms. While in the store, you overhear two men in the next aisle planning a robbery. They discuss their apparel, the date, end even the time they plan to strike. And the address is yours! What do you do?
There are several courses of action to take, and each would depend on where you live. Living in a town or a major metropolitan area would lead you straight to the local police station after receiving this news. If you live in a more remote area, a longer drive to the local sheriffís office would be required, and maybe even a visit to the local gun shop. Before you leave the hardware store, you observe these men carefully so that you can identify them to the local authorities. When you get home, you take measures to ensure that your family is protected. You lock all the windows and doors and donít get any sleep until the perpetrators are caught. You donít allow your home to be undermined and broken into.
Now even though the majority of Christians would probably agree with me and possibly even take one of these courses of action to protect their home, they fail to protect their faith the same way. Instead of protecting their faith, they allow it to be weakened in every way imaginable.
Often the damaging of the faith comes in the form of figurative doors being left open to sin. The great thing about having a relationship with Jesus is that He forgives us. We can be full of greed, anger, resentment, and several other things, but Jesus forgives them all.
Sadly, many Christians would rather not put everything on the table in order to be forgiven. Sure, we stopped using profanity. We stopped smoking. We even started being a better spouse and parent. But God, I have to have a drink every once in a while. I need it to relax after a hard dayís work.
Okay, maybe alcohol is not your thing. Maybe you have continued to tell inappropriate jokes. In case you didnít know it, itís called coarse jesting, and Paul has some very serious words about it (Ephesians 5:4).
Such things as alcohol and coarse jesting undermine the house that is your faith and allow the enemy to get a foothold on your life. Yes, there are countless other things believers let into their life every day and refuse admit that itís a problem. But even if itís only one seemingly small detail of your life, that one thing can keep you from being in a state of readiness for the Rapture.
How many times have you or someone you know used the phrase but God knows my heart? Iíve heard it so many times I stopped counting long ago. The problem is that way too often itís used to excuse some behavior in a believerís life that God wants them to stop.
Want to know the truth? You may be Sunday school teacher of the year, a leader in your church, an excellent tither, and the best parent within five hundred miles, but God sees what you do when no one else is watching. If your life is not an open book for your light to shine to the world, God still knows whatís in it. He knows if your house is burglar proof or not.
The first step to making your house safe from the enemy is complete honesty. You have to confess everything to God. Be truthful with Him and donít try to hide anything. You donít have to confess all the baggage in your life to your pastor. Your pastor is your shepherd to guide you: heís not your savior or the source of your forgiveness.
Once there has been confession and forgiveness, you must repent and stop doing the mess that got you into your sin in the first place. You must install a new security system. After Jesus, your new security starts in the Bible. Read it. Let the words in the pages become alive to you. Youíll probably even find out that there was some stuff in your life that you didnít consider sinful as God reveals Himself to you through your studies.
Installing the new security system will be a great time in your life. At the end of the installation, your life will be completely different. Youíll want what God wants above anything else. The doors left open to sin wonít even be there anymore; you took out the doors and installed windows so that your light can shine for all to see.
A house with only windows and no doors may sound a little ridiculous, let alone not meet building code requirements, but stop a minute and think. Once God has come in and made His house in your soul, why in the world would you want to let any other influences from the world through the door at all? Your light originating from a relationship with Jesus can shine through your windows always, and there will not be any possibility of evil influences to enter. Your house will never be undermined again. Sure, none of us know when the Rapture will occur. The great part about being prepared is that if the thief comes to knock us out of our state of readiness, heíll quickly discover that weíre more equipped and ready than ever.
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