Article: Getting Ready

What are you doing to grow your faith in Christ during the pandemic? Have you seen this time as an opportunity to grow?

The old adage is true, one can sometimes “make lemonade out of lemons.” I hope you have seen this as a time to build up your faith instead of losing it in the despair of this past year. 

Or if you already have a “spiritual routine” in your life, I hope you have continued.

There are 168 hours in a week and if you devote one hour a week to spiritual matters that is only .6% of your entire week. Not even a full one percent! If our only spiritual endeavor is worship, you are starving your soul!

There are lots of tools available to you. Daily broadcasts from church, a once-a-week Bible Study on Wednesdays, free daily devotionals that we will mail to you.  Bruce Ewing writes a daily devotional that can be emailed to you. There are also podcasts, audio books and even just plain old regular books to read!

Besides studying scripture throughout the week, I also listen to audiobooks whenever I am in the car. Most recently, I have been listening to “The History of Christianity, Volume 1.” It is not a devotional, but I am refreshing myself on the history of the Christian church.

Honestly, I want you to be ready for the day you meet Jesus face to face. We all share the same destination. Whether you believe it or not, a part of this life is getting ready for what awaits us in eternity. A part of my calling is to help you get ready for that day. 

I am reminded of something that Pastor Paul wrote to the church of Corinth about this very idea. He reminded them to get ready too. 

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any person builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day (of judgment) will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what they have built survives, they will receive their reward. If it is burned up, they will suffer loss; they will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. 1Corinthians 3:11-15

Our foundation is faith in Christ alone. I think we can all agree on that. However, what we build on that foundation might not be godly. To put it another way, the things we invest our time, money and effort in this life may not be of God. Of course, we still have our faith in Christ, but not much to show for it. 

Saint Paul reminds us that the fruit of our labors will be put to the test (a refiner’s fire) at the end of our lives. The things we did that lift the name of Jesus and helped others will remain. Everything else will be burned up.  It is clear that there will be nothing to show for our selfish earthly labor. 

Paul makes the point that any Christian living an unfruitful life will still enter into heaven because of their faith in Christ, but it will be like escaping a fire with only the charred clothes on their back. 

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to get into heaven “by the skin of my teeth.” (That phrase also comes from scripture originally. Job proclaims it in the book by the same name in chapter 19, verse 20. “I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.”)

I don’t think you want to enter heaven with only your soul either. Now is the time to get ready. It is never too late. 

Jesus reminds us that the things we do today, have eternal consequences. 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19–21 

Every time you spend time in God’s Word you are storing up treasure.

Every time you help someone in need, you are storing up treasure.

Every time you meditate, contemplate and act on the love of Jesus you are storing up treasure.

We don’t need to add to the chaos of this world by chasing our own dreams and agendas. As Jesus said, “Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

God bless you,
Pr. Ben

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