Our Provider —Part Two

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

Does God really care about every detail of our lives? Even the ones that seem small and insignificant, the mundane?

To that question, I would say yes! God created us. He loves us.  He knows us and knows how we are wired, what makes us tick. He knows our likes and dislikes, the things that bring us sorrow and joy.  And He cares.

The Bible tells us in Luke 12: 6,7 “What is the price of five sparrows…two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So, don´t be afraid. You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “

There are many stories I could share but I want to share a couple that happened recently.

Recently we had a cold snap here in Honduras. I was freezing! I didn’t seem to have enough “warm” clothes. I know it might be hard to believe but it does get cold here. When the temperature drops to 12° and you have no way to heat your cinder block home with ceramic tile and windows that are not air tight…that’s cold.  Especially when the wind blows.  Even our dog was shivering!  We bundled up with quilts and blankets…so thankful to have them!  I commented to my husband that I needed to buy a long sleeved shirt because I had none.

The next day I was at a ladies Bible study when my friend, who hosts the study in her home brought out  a long sleeved t shirt that had been a gift to her daughter for Christmas.  However it wasn’t her style and her daughter didn’t really like it. It was the perfect size and she gave it to me. I now have a long sleeved shirt and it didn’t cost me anything.

And then there is my friend Debi Cowan’s story. She is a missionary in Roatan. Below is her story that she shared on Facebook a few weeks ago.

Lately we have been bringing our lunch to the shop and today I forgot it at home. Bob said, “Don’t worry honey, God will provide.” Since I am not eating wheat or anything fried that pretty much cuts out street food.  I admit I looked at him with some skepticism!!

I said to Bob “I didn’t eat enough for breakfast I am going out to find a banana”. I checked 2 pulperias but no success!! After about an hour there was a guy on a bike selling fruit and I excitedly ran outside but nope, no bananas!! The vendor said there wasn’t any bananas on the island!! I know!!! Boo hoo! 

At the time there was a family in the shop and they overheard me talking to Bob about the banana dilemma and my growing hunger. Suddenly the man walked up to me and handed me a banana. A beautiful, non -bruised, almost perfect banana!!!  His wife said they brought one banana off the ship and nothing else. A Royal Caribbean!!!

Even as she threw it in her beach bag she thought “Why am I taking this?! We probably won’t eat it”. She laughed and said “I guess it was for you!” I smiled and looked at the lovely banana and said “Look it has my name on it”. The little girl looked and I jokingly said, “See, it’s right there!!!”

Does He provide? Yes you just never know right? A banana miracle? Indeed!!!

Matthew 7:11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Finding the Gold: This Is Me

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

“That’s why I refuse to believe that there are ‘special people’ in this world. I think that everybody has special value. Our problem is that we don’t have enough time to find out what is too often hidden.”Carl Lentz, Own The Moment, pg. 74

Over the next three weeks I want to dive into some thoughts the Lord has laid on my heart in response to a few questions I’ve asked a very diverse group of people. We will start with the first question and apply biblical principles while we unpack some of the things I have learned from my friends honest answers. I will share my answers to these questions each week as well. Are you ready? Let’s go.

Question number one:
What top three words would you use to describe how YOU see YOURSELF?

When asking myself this question, I have come up with a few sets of answers that are dependant on which perspective I am looking through. If I am considering how I would describe myself through the lens of Jesus Christ, I may use words such as: loved, forgiven, and free. When looking at myself through the bare eyes of my own heart, my answers are much different.
When we accept Jesus as our personal saviour He hands us the most precious gift: a pair of corrective lenses. These lenses give us the ability to see us as He sees us. The unfortunate part is that the majority of us don’t use these lenses at all. We have full access to them, but we choose to keep looking through the blind eyes we were born with.

Of the twenty people I invited to take my survey, the following are their responses.
Failure, organized, caring, optimist, nice, short, strong, caring, peaceful, strong, beautiful, spiritual, dedicated, loving, uncertain, thoughtful, generous, compassionate, struggling, trying, confused, brave, strong, fun, encourager, Jesus-follower, servant, confident, dependable, honest, redeemed, loved, valued, strong-willed, determined, broken, passionate, busy, loving, compassionate, loyal, independent, christian, father, grandfather, courteous, impulsive, busy, head-strong, traditional, reserved, overweight, shy, unfashionable.

As you can see I have bolded three of the fifty-seven words that came in. Of the twenty people surveyed, only ONE person responded with words intentionally describing who they are through the lens of Jesus Christ. (My personal answers: creative, insecure, trustworthy). For the most part the words my friends used to describe themselves are great words. There is nothing wrong with being generous, loving, loyal or caring—those are all really great things. However, if the words we choose to BEST describe who we are are not viewed through those corrective lenses…then we will offer nothing more than who we were before Christ to our lives and the people around us. It is important to know who we are in Christ and then live that way.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”1 Peter 2:9

Some of my very favourite Christian heroes are those who are confident in who they are in Christ. These people believe that because of Christ, above all else, they are redeemed, forgiven, loved, valued and free. They live their lives this way…knowing that along the way their imperfect human nature will cause them to stumble sometimes—but their stumbling will not define who they are. Their position in Christ remains the source of their identity. They have found the gold, they have uncovered what so many of us keep hidden. Their example pushes me to want a better way of thinking for myself…and it makes me want to be that same example for those people in my life.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”Romans 15:7

Let’s work on living our lives they way Jesus intended.

May He Begin With Me

Written by: Conny Varga

“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)

This instruction has been tormenting me for quite some time now. Probably for a couple of years, to be honest. The Message puts it this way: “You have been treated generously, so live generously.”

Jesus said this phrase in the middle of his instructions to the disciples before sending them out two-by-two to preach the Kingdom of Heaven (the Great Commission) and help the needy (the Great Commandment). If we are Christ-followers, then Jesus is speaking the exact same phrase to us. But what does that look like in the 21st century?

Several years ago, when researching the origins of Global Orphan Sunday, I came across a moving story about the very first Orphan Sunday in a poor local church in Zambia. The pastor passionately called his congregation to donate to the cause of helping the orphans and widows in their AIDS-ravaged community, and, inspired to action, people started coming forward, giving generously, money, food, and some even taking the shoes off their feet to help those in need.

Just the other day, I read an inspiring story about a church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who proved that this same generosity is possible in North America. One Sunday, the pastor of that church decided to surprise his congregation and ask them to donate the money in their wallets, their coats and boots, and deposit them all at the front of the church during worship. Their “Sunday Best” would be donated to an inner-city street ministry. “The challenge was to give our best as worship to God,” he explained. What happened next is amazing: One man didn’t have any cash on him, so he quickly drove to an ATM and came back with an envelope stuffed full. Another woman, who had finally bought the leather boots she had been eyeing for a while, at first walked to the front and gave only her coat as an offering. God called her on it as soon as she sat back down. The boots went too. (from Going Missional, Karen Stiller & Willard Metzger).

The question I have to ask myself is this: Am I willing to give whatever I have back to God, for Him to use as He sees fit? In Matthew 10, Jesus reminds us that God has dealt with us generously. God gives only the best, every single time. He gives lavishly, not holding back anything, even His only Son, for us humans who are ungrateful and don’t even really care most of the time.

Am I willing to give away my best – my “nice” things – or is it the stained shirts and frayed jeans that end up in the donation pile? If I have two coats (or most likely more) and I hear of a need for the homeless, do I give the good one away, knowing that I have enough, and God will take care of me? What about giving some of my dishes (not the chipped ones) to a young single mom who is trying to make ends meet and can’t afford to buy any. Would I donate my good spare car to a family, so the father can keep his job? The perfectly good food that lands in the trash after dinner, the cute sandals collecting dust on the shoe shelf, the time I spend mindlessly watching TV, the money that buys my daily coffee & donut – aren’t they all symptoms of a selfish, uncaring, stingy heart? Isn’t our treasure in those things, instead of in the things above? “Live generously” is a very high calling, especially since we are to treat our neighbour the same way we treat ourselves. Suddenly, giving our “scraps” away doesn’t sound so glorious and honorable any more. According to Jesus, only when we are willing to part with everything, even life itself, for the sake of Him and others, we find a life worth living! (e.g. Luke 14)

I pray that God would motivate us to join together as a generation of Christians who are not afraid to live generously for His glory and the spreading of His Kingdom! May He begin with me!

For A Moment

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

I love music!  I particularly love worship music!  Hymns and choruses both new and old.  To me a beautifully blended worship set that reaches all generations on a Sunday morning is bliss.  Seeing people touched by the lyrics and notes, moved by the Spirit to act and feel, ministered to with comfort and healing.  Music is so powerful and heavenly song is soothing to the soul.

I love to sing!  I particularly love to sing worship music!  Hymns and choruses both new and old.  To me a beautiful blend of voices in four-part harmony is a gorgeous expression of praise to our Maker.  To clap my hands in celebration, raise my arms in surrender, dance my feet for joy, raise my voice in triumph.  Singing to my Saviour soaks my spirit with the presence of my Father and draws me close to His side.

Over the many centuries of Christendom there have been countless songs written for the church.  In fact, long before the church of Acts 2 was established, music was written by God’s chosen people to exalt His mighty name.  In much of the Old Testament we see passages of scripture filled with references to trumpets and horns and cymbals and flutes and voices, all in praise of the Lord.

Further, the Psalms are filled with the musical expressions and longings of King David himself, as he poured out his very soul before his Creator; expressions and longings we can still relate to today!  The book of Revelation speaks of the eternal nature of our praise and that when we sing we join the hosts of all heaven in exalting the name of Jesus!  Powerful!

It is amazing to ponder that the music of today joins with such a rich tapestry of music weaved throughout millennia.  Our voices blend with all the voices of old, and all the voices to come, in exaltation of the one true God, our Father, our Saviour, our Comforter.  Our songs rise to join with the songs of heaven in exaltation of the One we love.

And to think that in all this music, there are songs written just for you.  Just for me.  Songs that break through the noise and hit us right where we are at, at any given point in time or experience.  It may be a new song introduced at church or a song experienced at a concert.  A lyric that floats to your ears from a child or a line given by God in the middle of the night.  A melody whistled by Grandpa while working in his shop or a tune sung in the amazing acoustics of the shower.

One such song touched my heart this past week.  A song from a CD played several times before on my commute back and forth to work, but not truly heard until now.  It pierced through the clutter in my mind and made its way deep down into my heart.  The lyrics spoke to my current situation and brought me to tears.  The words sung reminded me that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  I drew great comfort knowing that this situation, this season, would change and from it God would receive all glory and that I would be “OK.”

So, to finish, I would like to share this song, my song, with you and I hope it encourages you today, just as it has encouraged me this week!

 

 

 

“For A Moment”

By:  Elevation Worship

Peace be still you are with me,

In this hope I abide.

Jesus be my sustainer,

Strengthen me in this trial.

 

And I know, it’s only for a moment,

And everything is working for your glory.

But I need, your perfect love to hold me,

Safe within your promise,

Till the storm has passed.

 

When this burden is lifted,

I’ll give thanks to your name.

But, until it is finished,

I’ll give praise just the same.

 

For we have this hope,

As an anchor for our soul.

You are with us,

We will never be alone.

Hi, I’m ________!

Written by: Rylie Wistuba

I’ve had issues with my identity from a young age. I struggled to find different ways to define myself, because of insecurities stemming from a fear of rejection. As a pre-teen, I solely wore boy’s clothes because I wanted to be taken seriously & heard by the classmates around me. The girls who were ‘pretty’ and wore stereotypical ‘girl clothes’ weren’t usually taken seriously by the boys, so I decided I wouldn’t be like them.

As a young teen, I gravitated towards being the ‘unique one’ of my friend group. I would wear between 10-20 bracelets & watches (not a good look, even for 2008!) and a flower headband every day so I could feel seen. As I went through high school I started branding myself as a perfectionist, band geek nerd etc. because that’s who I thought I was. Every time I would introduce myself on the first day of a new class it was “Hi, I’m Rylie. I like to sing, I’m in choir & band.” My world revolved around ‘being smart’, and excelling in music. I became so invested in these identities, that when they were taken away, it felt like I had lost myself.

When I was 17 and in the middle of my senior year of High School, my family and I moved almost across the country from British Columbia to Ontario. As I took the last of my schooling online, I kind of went into an identity crisis. Who was I? For so many years I was someone who was identified by what they did. I’m in a completely different province, and I can be anything I want. Who am I really?
The next few months were a huge growing period for me. I realized the identities I had held so tightly to were flimsy and not really who I strived to be. I asked myself questions like, “At the end of my life, what will people remember me by?” I dug into Scripture and found life-giving verses about who I truly am, and what God thinks of me.

I am a temple, where the Holy Spirit Dwells:

“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’m cared for, and never forgotten:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭56:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

He sees me as a vessel for His Spirit, even though I’m flawed:

“Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

I learn more about Him & myself every day, and the more I press into Him, the more I realize who I am. To answer the question I asked myself “What will people remember me by?” I hope people remember me by my love for people & for Jesus. I’ve realized that’s all that really matters in the end.

It’s Too Hard

Written by: Christianne Williams

There was screaming, crying, and tears.  Lots and lots of tears.  There were adamant declarations of “I will not do this!  I will never do this!”  And then the questions, “Why are you making me do this?  Why do I need to do this?”  And then the pleading, “Please don’t make me do this!  I just can’t do this!”  And I’ve not heard these things once – no, I’ve heard them many times over the years.  You may be asking what situation I’m speaking of that could evoke such drama, such strong feelings of dread.  Or maybe you’re wondering who these pleas came from.  Any homeschooling family can probably tell you that these are the scenes that occur everyday, or at least every second day, while you have preschoolers who you are encouraging to learn new things.

The greatest battle I fought in this arena was the one with my eldest son on the journey to independent reading.  He bucked me at every turn, even pulling the, “Mom you’re such a good reader, why should I learn when you do it so well!”  and trying to convince his brother, two  years his junior, that it would be great if could just be the early reader of the family.  Every day began with Battle Royale over Sing Spell Read and Write, so much so that I almost considered giving in to his pleas and letting him be illiterate for a while longer.

Imagine my delight when my second loved reading, however, it quickly faded when I discovered we would endure the same battle, only with math.  And then our next son was so active every subject was like gym class, and finally here I am again in the middle of teaching our final child the importance of the English language.  This time I’m worrying less about it because I realize that  eventually my boys actually did learn to read.  And add.  And subtract.  And dissect a sentence.  And they learned many other things that they flat out refused to attempt in the early days of homeschooling.

One thing that was consistent in all of them was the unique ways each of them learned.  They didn’t all fit in the same box.  They didn’t all learn at the same rate, or enjoy the same things. The education game has been different with each child and each passing day.  I quickly learned that forcing them all into the same box wasn’t going to work and would leave us feeling frustrated, and what’s worse, leaving them feeling like they couldn’t do it.  Expecting the same from all of them was not realistic.  How could my seven year old be expected to understand things the same way my 16 year old does?  She hasn’t the experience in life that he does.  In the same way, I can’t expect him to be able to make life decisions the way I can, I have much more life experience than he does.

Life is a journey, we’re all learning, we’re all in different stages of the process.  Like children learning new things in school, we all learn at different rates, through different circumstances, and God knows which ones will help each of grow.  He understands our unique learning styles and knows how to nurture us each in the ways that will shape us into mature believers.  I’ve found myself feeling discouraged because people around me seem to be more spiritual, they seem to understand more or have more insight.  Feeling disqualified because they seem to have it all together and I don’t feel like I ever will.  That’s not how God sees any of us though, He sees us as beautiful works of art.  He adds to the picture as we walk along, as we grow the picture changes.

Just as my kids learned what they needed to at appropriate times in their lives, we will as well as long we submit to His leading.  He’s a good and patient Father, one who loves us and desires to see us move on to maturity.  I know how exciting it is when a child gets a new concept, and I can just know that Father God is excited when we learn something new.  He’s cheering us on, encouraging us to try one more time, to ask for His help, to submit to His will.  So many times I find myself with same attitude my children had – it’s too hard, I’ll never be able to do that, please don’t make me go that way- and each time I hear Him say, “You can do it!”  “I’m right here with you!”  “I’m pleased with you!”

Dangers Revealed!!

Written by: Cindy Morrone

There I was face-down and sprawled out all over the snow-covered road.  I have fallen twice in my 20+ years of running. The first time was years ago, from pure exhaustion while training for a ½ marathon.  And this second time was just a couple of weeks ago with the reason a complete mystery to me.

It’s like my left foot dug deep into the asphalt and the right, in attempts to compensate, dug even deeper, catapulting the rest of me forward and down.  Like two peg legs in the sand.  My water bottle flew out of my hand and slid through the slush and grime.

Picking myself up, I looked around to see if anyone saw what had just happened.  No one appeared.  (Thank You, Jesus for small mercies!! Lol!!)

With only road rash, I ran the rest of the way home in bewilderment.  What had just happened?  How did I just end up sprawled all over the road?

The next week, running that same route, I found my answer.  The melted snow revealed a pot hole.

In much the same way, we are finding this teenager parenting thing tricky and terrifying!!

It seems like this…..my husband and I watching, cheering, directing and warning from the sidelines competing against the thousands of others doing the same.  No longer can we keep them close and re-direct them physically or simply tell them, ‘no.’

Their playing field is wide open with their own wills, thoughts, opinions and beliefs emerging.

And there have been times when none of us knew the danger that they were heading into.  The plans seemed innocent enough but something told my husband and I that our precious ones may not overcome the peril.

Prayer in parenting has never been so important to us.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”  Romans 8:26

We are so thankful for His ever-presence and are beginning to trust that this time for our daughters is necessary for their own faith evolution.

We are not alone, as Christians, the Holy Spirit, our Helper cautions, advises, informs and counsels us.

Our Provider

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

2 Corinthians 9:6

Remember this… a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.

Tithing…It’s something that is not talked about much in churches anymore, as there seems to be much debate about it.  So, I hope for a few moments you will bear with me as I share a couple stories from our lives.

Since our children were small something we’ve tried to instill in them is the concept of giving or tithing. We encouraged them to give from their allowance even though they didn’t earn a lot.  It’s something through the years of our marriage that we have always practiced even though there were times when we technically couldn’t afford to.  God always came through.

There were times shortly after purchasing our first home that we didn’t know how we would pay our mortgage or other bills, when people would anonymously give us money or grocery cards. Oftentimes right down to the exact dollar needed. There was never a time during that season of uncertainty that we missed a mortgage payment or did not have food on our table. All of our needs were met.  Always.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

My oldest son who is now living on his own, told me about an experience that he had happen to him right before Christmas. He decided that he would tithe on his paycheck. It was a stretch for him to trust God that he would have enough to pay for his rent, groceries, transportation and other needs. Once he pays all his bills, there is not a whole lot left.  But he felt in his heart it was what he was to do.  His church has a debit machine set up in the lobby so that people can pay without cash. He told me that “no joke”, as soon as he stepped away from the debit machine a lady handed him a Christmas card. He waited until he got home to open and it and when he did, he was completely floored. Inside the Christmas card was a gift of money—the exact amount he had tithed that morning! I don’t think I have to tell you how that moment increased his faith.

Mal 3:10

Bring your full tithe to the temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.

At the end of 2017, it appeared that we were significantly behind in our staffing budget. If we did not have X amount of finances come in we would not be able to rehire a couple of our Bible teachers for the new school year that begins in February. This would mean that there would be schools that we would not be able to return to and the children in those schools would not be receiving the gospel this year.  It made us sad. Not to mention, how would we explain that in our newsletters or to our supporters? We prayed about it as it was a concern and heavy on our hearts. It was hard not to worry. We should have just trusted and believed it would come in…because it did!

At the final hour, (or so it seemed) Dale received an email from a church letting us know that they had surplus in their missions giving and that they would be depositing the extra amount into account. And they did….the exact amount that we were short….the exact amount needed to rehire a couple of the teachers. God is so good!

2 Corinthians 9:7

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.

So, I just want to encourage you, if you are not already tithing or giving, to try it…and see for yourself if God doesn’t provide for your needs. I promise He will. Because He is always faithful and always true to his Word.

Secondhand Faith

Written By: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Point your kids in the right direction— when they’re old they won’t be lost. (Proverbs 22:6)

I saw a quote this morning by Joyce Meyer that really spoke to me:

“You can’t get buy on secondhand faith. It doesn’t matter what your Mama believes. You have to find out what YOU believe.”JM

It’s true that I am praying my guts out that my kids grow up to believe in Jesus Christ like my husband and I do. It is also true that they have the choice to believe in whatever they want.

I believe it takes so much more than words to leave an eternal impression on our children. We need to be living examples of God’s truth and love. We need to pray without ceasing for their salvation. We need to share with them the wonder of the miracles that God does in our lives; both big and small.

I was raised in a bible-believing, faith-based home but I made my own decision to serve Christ at the age of thirteen. I was surrounded by generations of family that lived their faith in Christ out loud every day. Their faith stirred up a craving for a relationship with God – a relationship of my own.

This is what I so hope for my children; that I might be a living, breathing example of faith in Jesus Christ. I don’t simply want to pass down my faith to my kids. I want to live in such a way that my children are inspired to embrace an authentic journey of faith of their own.

God gives us lots of opportunities to share in His realness and goodness. Will you embrace these opportunities?

Jesus, thank You for my precious children. I pray for their hearts, that they would seek You with all of their might. That they would turn to You at all times. That they would live in Your truths and share those truths with their children, and their children’s children. Jesus, I pray for my friends with young kids- please give them wisdom as they raise their children to serve You. I also pray for my friends with older children who are running from You……Jesus, I pray that You will give them peace and perseverance to continue living an example of truth. I pray for those kids who are running, please help them to see the truth and turn back to You. I pray these things in Your holy name, Jesus, Amen.

Living Expectantly

Written by: Conny Varga

Do you believe Jesus is coming back? And possibly soon? What thoughts and feelings does this question stir in you?

I am always amazed at how expectant the apostles and early believers were – they believed Jesus’ return was imminent, and they lived accordingly. They worked tirelessly, sacrificing their comforts, possessions, and even their lives, since they wanted to bring as many people to heaven with them as they could. They would not shy away from any opportunity to share their faith and the gospel, or to show God’s love in a tangible way to those in need. And you know what? As a result, they were accused of “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6)!! Christianity spread like a wildfire during the first century or so, growing exponentially, despite various external efforts of squelching the flame.

So what is different today? How have we lost the urgency of Jesus’ return? If anything, we are now closer than ever, and you’d think that this truth would motivate us more than ever to put everything on the line, to give our all to the cause of the gospel. Who cares about comfort? So what if we’re rejected? There’s a world of people out there who need to be befriended and who need to hear the gospel that can save them for eternity!

But too often, we forget. And trust me, I speak from experience. We get caught up in the day-to-day grind and rat race, we care more about the spilled milk on the floor than about our neighbour’s soul. We have a million “urgent” things to take care of on our to-do list, and the Great Commission just gets squeezed out of our busy day. We feel guilty for a while when we think about it, it makes us uncomfortable, but then we go back to living as if tomorrow was promised to us.

However, in a conversation about His second coming, Jesus Himself warned us: “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:35-37)

The apostles understood this, and there is no way they wanted to be found “sleeping”. May we also stop snoozing, and get up, get out, and get moving. Let’s make every day count! Let’s live every day as if it was the last!

Jason Gray puts it this way when he sings (It’s Good To Be Alive):

I wanna live like there’s no tomorrow
Love like I’m on borrowed time
It’s good to be alive

I won’t take it for granted
I won’t waste another second
All I want is to give you
A life well lived, to say “thank you”

Jesus is coming soon! Meanwhile, He expects us to continue and finish the work He started here, and He wants us to be ready and waiting, like a bride for her groom!  ““Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city” … He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:12-14 & 20)