We talked last time about deception, especially in the context of Jesus’ return. Jesus also urges us to “be ready” and to “keep watch” for His return. The concept of being ready also has ties to outdoor sports as well as team sports. The player on the field of a football game will quickly put himself and his team in jeopardy if he’s daydreaming and not paying attention. The same can happen with fishing.
My friend Jack was fishing for Kokanee off a dock on a lake in Eastern Washington when his son Jason was still a small boy. On the dock were Jack, his son, and Jack’s friend Mike. All three of them had a line in the water. Suddenly, Jason’s pole started jerking violently and the young boy didn’t know what to do, so Jack quickly set his pole on the dock and turned to give Jason a hand. But while Jack was reeling in Jason’s fish, two more fish hit both Mike’s and Jack’s lines almost simultaneously! Jack was busy with Jason’s rod and Mike was reeling in his own, when both Jack and Mike looked down and watch a fish pull Jack’s pole off the dock and into the lake. Quickly, Mike shoved his pole at Jack, kicked off his shoes, and dove in after Jack’s pole.
Jack landed both Jason’s and Mike’s fish just in time to watch Mike surfacing holding the pole toward Jack on the dock. Jack grabbed it and reeled in his fish as well. It had been a frantic five minutes that none of the three had been ready for. It was only their good fortune that they were able to land all three fish.
Again, those were just fish. What Jesus is talking about is far more serious. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
And in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus warns about letting our hearts becoming “weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34 – 36)
How do we keep ready for Jesus’ return? By anticipating and expecting His soon return for one thing. We don’t know when He will come, so we must watch for Him expectantly. We also stay ready by avoiding thoughts and activities that can distract and defeat us. Therefore, “Be ready!”
Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 3:3-14
Personal Application: To what extent would you say you are ready for Christ’s return? What would you want to change or do differently if you knew He was coming tomorrow?
Wendell Morton and Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5