Facebook does this thing were it shows me what I've posted on this days in the previous years and this post from 2012 spoke to my heart today and continued my thinking. I pray the following words from times in the past do the same for you. I also am asking God to use my concluding thoughts from today to stir up some thoughts of your own.
From February 5, 2012-
I typed the words, "Are you ready?" and in my mind could hear Hank Williams Jr. singing, "for some football, for a Super Bowl party!" In case you didn't know the big game is today, but chances are you do and have maybe even been getting ready for a party this afternoon.
I've put some food together and even our little Jesse man is ready for his first ever Super Bowl! He's even sporting colors of one of the teams!
But last night the title of this post was on my mind for another reason. I'd just received a call that loved ones were involved in a car accident after they'd left the hospital visiting loved ones who were sick. Thankfully it's just the vehicle that's a loss and not someone's life. I thanked God for answering specific prayers we'd prayed earlier for safety. He is good!
Though I was grateful and at peace my mind was still at work as I reflected on yet another day that didn't go as planned. It began with a loved one on life support, 6 of the 7 people in my house getting sick, a friend's mom having major surgery for a brain tumor, my dad tipping over his skid loader and then the accident yesterday. Honestly it has been quite a week and as I thought about it all I said, "Wow, God...it could have been much worse."
I am beyond thankful that it is not, but I know this is not a perfect world and someday the news won't be what I want to hear. As I thought about this, the opening three words to this post came to mind...I could hear God whispering, "Are you ready? And the ones you love, are they ready?"
Honestly thoughts of dying are not ones I prone to ponder, but this post keeps begging me to write it, so I will.
Personally when I ask myself this question...no, I'm not ready when I look at things from an earthly perspective - my kids are young, they need me, their mom to raise them up; my husband and I have many years in front of us; I have dreams and desires I long to see unfold, but I know that's not what God is asking.
He's asking if I've accepted His Son, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior and yes, yes I have. Romans 10:9 says, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." That I have done and that I believe, so I know when my time comes I will be saved. I am ready.
Friend how about you? Are you ready? Remember being ready isn't accomplished by going to church, being a good person or growing up in a christian home. Matthew 7:21-23 says, "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" God doesn't desire rituals or religion, He wants a relationship. Friend being ready is about knowing HIM!
Perhaps today, maybe even right now He is standing at the door of your heart and knocking. If you hear HIS voice and open the door, He will come in. (Rev. 3:20) Friend I encourage you to do that now! Make yourself ready...my past week is proof that we don't know what tomorrow will bring.
The Giants and the Patriots have spent two weeks preparing for this game and some of them will say they've spent their life working towards this goal, they are ready!! But when the whistle blows and the game ends, win or lose life will go on. Those athletes are preparing for a game, but today I pray you will apply this question to thoughts about your eternal home!
From February 5, 2017 -
Friend, we need to be ready for our eternal home, but we also need to open our hearts to Jesus to be ready for the trials that will come during our time on earth. This past week has been full of surprises...not the fun, enjoyable ones. Our newborn nephew experienced his first helicopter ride on the day he was born, little Gideon is in the NICU and undergoing more tests. We didn't see this coming.
On a much lighter note, yesterday our oldest daughter experienced an injury at a basketball tournament. Thankfully x-rays showed no broken bones, but we're experiencing crutches for the first time and lots of ice. This was not in her plans or mine, but it happened.
And isn't that just like life...things happen that we don't expect. Sometimes they are good, fun and rewarding surprises. Others they are hard, challenging experiences that bring tears, change and anxiety.
Today as I listened to our pastor's sermon I was reminded of another unexpected event in history - Moses meeting with God via the burning bush. This is a picture of God's character and compassion. It's an example of His call and commission. Moses didn't expect this encounter, but he was ready for it and responded rightly to it.
Friend think about Jesus' words in John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble! But take heart, I have overcome the world." It's a given hard times will and do happen on this earth. The question is - Are we ready for them?
We can't predict what they will be, but we can prepare for how we will respond. Will we allow fear, worry and panic to take over? Or will we rest in the promises God has for us? Will we run to Him and cry out to the One who knows, cares and provides?
We can't do that without knowing the One who is peace and offers it. Are you ready to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior? It will impact you for eternity and prepare you for the trials of today!
Saying "Yes" doesn't delete your troubles or change your problems, but it changes YOU! May we all be ready to walk with Jesus, trust the One who knows the way and follow Him where He knows we need to go.
Blessings my friend! If God brings it to mind, the Beran family would greatly appreciate your prayers for little Gideon James! He's a "mighty warrior" and we're entrusting Him to our great God!