Finishing Well

Here we are, ready to ring in a new year, and I have not had time to write since April of this year!  Adventures in life continue!  Today, however, there is an unusual stretch of uninterrupted (except for the cat climbing the back of my chair and getting between the keyboard and the screen) time to think and write down some thoughts for the ending of this year and the beginning of 2014.

I have been thinking about what it looks like to finish this mortal Christian life well, and then be ushered in to the immortal, everlasting life with our Lord and Savior. We do not know specifically when or how that will happen, but we do know generally, as believers, what will take place.  1 Corinthians 15:42-58 speaks of what will happen to our mortal bodies when the trumpet blows.  Whether we have fallen asleep (died) or are still alive when the trumpet blows, we will all be changed from perishable, mortals to imperishable immortals!  Wow!  That’s something to think about!

How do we stay ready for the sounding of the trumpet?  I want to be like one of the 5 wise virgins in the parable Jesus told to encourage us to be ready for His (the Bridegroom) return to take His bride (the church) home to His Father. (Matthew 25:1-13)  Keeping oil in our lamps and extra on hand is the admonition.  What does that mean? Not to try to make it say anything it is not really saying, we at least know it means the 5 wise virgins planned for the possible delay of the bridegroom by keeping extra oil on hand for their lamps. They were waiting for something they knew would take place, but just not exactly when it would take place. We, too, know Jesus will return to take us home (as He said in John 14:2-3).  We live by faith that He will keep His Word. We do not know the exact time His return will happen, we just know it will happen.  Thankfully, He gave us some hints as to what we were to watch for as the time drew near.  I may write about that more later, but for now I will stick to what we are to be doing as we wait.

Maybe we should ask ourselves what we would like Jesus to see us doing when He comes to take us home.  That might be a good way to know what we should be doing to finish well before He returns.  Also, we might ask what we want to be as His people when He comes for us.  I know “doing” and “being”  go hand in hand, but sometimes we get so busy doing things, that we lose sight of who we are being.  Even worse, we might even become people we don’t want to be, because we are doing things that we are not called or equipped to do. I am writing this for myself, of course, but if it helps you, I am glad.  Prayer for God’s help to know where He wants us is essential, I believe.  He is faithful to His Word and will hear our cry and answer us.  He will not call us to anything He does not equip us to do, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be difficulties, persecution, hardships, etc. He already told us those things would happen to His followers, but we can be of good cheer, because He has overcome this world.  He is with us in and through all difficulties.  Therefore, I challenge you and myself to face the coming year with an attitude of excitement and anticipation at what He wants us to do and be.   And, who knows, He may be coming for His Bride in 2014! So let’s finish this year well and welcome in the coming year with joy!

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