“Are you ready?” May 2

 

Are you ready? -

Are you ready? God is a merciful God. He has offered us the free gift of salvation. It’s available to any and all who will come to Him in faith and repentance. But there’s coming a day when He will return for His people and time will be up.

It’s important that we understand the balance between truth and grace in our lives. While we do live in an age of grace where God has offered the free gift of forgiveness through faith in His Son, and where we can trust the truthfulness of verses like 1 John 1.9, we should not and cannot live as if there will not be a day when Jesus comes back as the Righteous Judge.

At Christ’s second return, there will be many who say:

“‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then [He] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7.22-23). 

Are you ready?

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 6 & 7
Psalm 55.1-8
Proverbs 15.14
Luke 21.20-38

 

1 Samuel 6 & 7:

Golden tumors  

In yesterday’s reading God had allowed the Philistines to defeat the nation of Israel and to capture the ark of God. The Philistines mistakenly thought their god Dagon was responsible for the victory and that he had defeated the God of Israel, but they soon learned differently. When they placed the ark in Dagon’s temple, the statue of Dagon fell over twice and the second time its head and hands were broken off. And when they moved the ark, the people were plagued with tumors and death.

Ark of the Covenant - Are you ready?

They soon realized they needed to return it to Israel! So they made an elaborate plan to do so. Part of the plan was to include a sacrifice of five golden tumors and five golden rats as a representative of and payment for their sin.

Can you imagine having to announce your sin to everyone? It reminded me of the woman in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel The Scarlet Letter. She had to wear a giant scarlet “A” sewn to her dress so everyone would know she was an adulteress.

1 John 1.9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Aren’t you glad God made a provision for us to humbly come to Him and confess our sins, instead of commanding us to display golden images of our “tumors”? Jesus allowed Himself to be publicly displayed and humiliated so we don’t have to be.

There are times when we do need to confess our sins to others and rare times when our sin has affected a larger group and we need to go “public” with our confession and repentance, but the only sacrifice required is a contrite heart (Ps. 51.17).

Merely saying “I’m sorry” isn’t enough, though. We must humbly ask God and those we have hurt to forgive us. Then we are to bear the fruit of repentance (Matt. 3.8; Lk. 3.8)—make the changes necessary to demonstrate a changed heart!

 

Luke 21.20-38:

He’s coming back … Are you ready?

Verses 25-33 talk about watching for Christ’s return.

Verse 34 says, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.”

It’s important that we understand the balance between truth and grace in our lives. While we do live in an age of grace where God has offered the free gift of forgiveness through faith in His Son, and where we can trust the truthfulness of verses like 1 John 1.9, we should not and cannot live as if there will not be a day when Jesus comes back as the Righteous Judge.

At Christ’s second return, there will be many who say:

“‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then [He] will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt. 7.22-23). 

If we are truly His, there will be a desire to live a righteous life, to grow and change, to fellowship with His people, and an excitement about His return.

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Cor. 13.5).

The test is fruitfulness. No amount of good works can save us, no amount of “golden tumors” can pay the debt, but if we are truly saved, we will live a changed life!

Are you ready?

If you are not sure you’re saved or if you know you’re not and don’t have a clue how to be, please let me know. Just leave a comment at the bottom (no need to give your full name) or go to the contact page. There’s no shame in not knowing, but what a shame it would be to let pride or fear keep you from that assurance and risk hearing those words, “I never knew you!”

 

Today’s Other Readings:

Psalm 55.1-8:

Get me out of this mess!

David prayed, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (v. 6).

Have you ever prayed, “Lord, please deliver us from this” or “Lord, just get me out of this mess and I’ll never do _______ again”?

Just as in David’s life, there are times when He answers those prayers quickly and powerfully. There are other times, however, when we must wait, knowing that He will be with us in every situation, use them for good, and not allow any trial to be more than we can handle without sinning, if we’ll keep our eyes on Him and respond His way (Jn. 16.33; Rom. 8.28-29;1 Cor. 10.13).

 

Proverbs 15.14:

The wise in heart

“The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge …”

When it comes to biblical truth and wisdom, ignorance is not bliss!

Blessings,
Donna

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Featured Resources:

The Assurance of Our Salvation (Studies in John 17): Exploring the Depth of Jesus’ Prayer for His Own

Just hours before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus offered his famous High Priestly Prayer—one of the most intimate moments between Christ and his Father recorded in Scripture. John 17 has thus greatly encouraged Christians for millennia as it boldly affirms our connection to Christ.

In this masterful, verse-by-verse exposition of Jesus’s words, renowned Bible teacher and preacher Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones lays before us the richness, the depth, the wonder—and the assurance—of God’s plan of salvation.

How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian?: What the Bible Says About Assurance of Salvation Author Donald S. Whitney explores the issue of assurance and outlines how Christians can experience a satisfying certainty of eternal life. Includes discussion questions.

Saved Without A Doubt: Being Sure of Your Salvation

For over 30 years, trusted pastor and teacher John MacArthur has delivered practical, Biblical insights for helping Christians grow in their own journey of faith. Now the very best of John MacArthur’s Christian living titles have been updated to feature a fresh look and study guides for both personal and group reflection.

Am I really saved? Am I going to heaven? How can I know for sure? Every believer has wrestled with these questions at some point in their journey. Saved Without a Doubt examines Scripture to uncover the truth of salvation, while addressing tough questions that can hinder our faith. Readers will develop a Bible-based theology of salvation and be encouraged to securely rest in their personal relationship with Christ.

 

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Saturdays Snippets of Inspiration Word of God Speak
Sundays Spiritual Sundays Raising Samuels

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“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.

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