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Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are You Prepared?

Have you ever rushed into a public restroom only to find that every stall was missing an essential item? Yep, that's right... toilet paper! I remember being in a small group back some 25 years ago and a silver haired widow shared wisdom as to how to avoid this unfortunate situation. As she opened her purse and began pulling out a small pack of tissue she informed the group, "I always carry around this small package of tissue so I never have to worry if there will be the necessary items in the bathroom stalls."

There is a lot to be said about being prepared. But can we really be prepared for everything? Sometimes life deals us a hand that we just weren't expecting. How do you deal with it when you lose a small child to cancer, or a spouse to a tragic accident? How does one prepare for corporate downsizing, losing your ability to provide for your family, or finding out your son or daughter has an addiction to drugs? There are some things in life that are out of our control and no amount of planning and preparation will keep us from experiencing the pain associated with difficulties.

1Pet 1:6-9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Peter instructs us that our faith will be tested through various trials we encounter and to rejoice over them. In fact, they should result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. And eventually the outcome of our tested faith, being refined like gold in the fire, is the salvation of our souls. Rejoice? How are we supposed to rejoice during our trials? Well, that is another devotional (see trials for more). What I want to talk about here is being prepared...

There are two things in life I know we can be certain of. (No, not death and taxes) We can be certain that life is filled with uncertainties, and we can be certain where we will spend eternity. I know that we can not prepare for every uncertainty that comes our way, but I do know that we can prepare for where we will spend eternity.

Jesus wants to be in a relationship with us for all of eternity. Our relationship doesn't start when we die, it begins right here on earth. Right now. So how do I prepare for eternal living with God?

Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

Many people understand being right with God and preparing for eternity to be about doing good things. If I do enough good, and God is pleased with my good, then I will go to Heaven and be with Him in all eternity. Unfortunately there is a problem with this type of thinking. Paul tells us in Romans 3 "as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." So we can't prepare for eternity by "doing" good. Keeping His word is important and doing good does display evidence of our faith, but the good we do doesn't save us.

Being prepared for our eternity is about being in relationship with Christ and not about doing good things. Confessing and repenting from our sins, believing in Jesus as the only way to God, and walking daily in the instruction of His word.

Are you prepared for eternity? I have written many articles regarding our eternal salvation with Jesus. I encourage you to read through some of them and ask yourself if you have been called by God to serve Him for all eternity?

What is your plan for eternity... To walk through this life oblivious to the end or to prepare for a magnificent homecoming on the day of your death, running into the arms of a loving savior?

Regardless of your plan, you will spend eternity somewhere...

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