Wednesday, July 24, 2013

~ "Be prepared..."

Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ (Matt 25:41-43)

Judgement.  Someday soon, we will all be judged.  There is a place for each of us in the afterlife.  All will go before God; some will have Jesus to speak for them, others will not.  Will our judgement come as a result of the lives we've led here on earth?  Will our judgement be righteous?  Will our judgement be negotiable?

Jesus points out, in these verses, that we are to be the constant givers.  We are to exclude no one from our circle of friends.  We are not to pick and choose.  We are to always be willing to help our fellow man, regardless of what we think of him.  If you remember, Jesus hung out with the thieves and prostitutes (and the dock workers).  He walked with the sinners.  The rich and powerful weren't willing to give up everything they had to follow Him.  The politicians and the high priests thought they knew better than He was.  Though innocent of what they were accused of, His disciples spent time in jail.  Some were murdered in His name.  Most were laughed at by the authorities.

People wear a facade...especially when they are hurting.  We need to be able to look past that exterior and see their pain - the one that fills their heart!  When we ask the question "are you okay", do we REALLY want to hear the answer, or do we expect to hear "I'm okay" so that we don't have to do anything further?  When we ask "do you need any help", what excuses to we make when we don't hear "no"?  Are we willing to go those extra steps for our family and friends?  Are we willing to reach out and offer the assistance they need?  Are we willing to feed, give a drink to, comfort, clothe or visit our family and friends in THEIR time of need or do we wait until it's convenient for us to do so?  Are we willing to lay down everything to be the support system they need?

Our judgement will be righteous.  We will have to answer for all those things we failed to do (and for a few that we did and shouldn't have) - it's just the way it is.  You can't plead temporary insanity or no contest in God's court.  There will be no plea bargains.  There is something you can do now.  In Jersey, it's referred to as PTI (pre-trial intervention) - roughly stated, it is an opportunity to plead guilty, pay your fine, do your probation and get a clean slate.  You can only use it once and it's only for first time offenders.  In God's court, it's referred to as repentance.  In God's court, there is no limit on the number of times you can repent.  In God's court, there is always forgiveness (up until the time of your death).  In God's court, your slate can be wiped clean each and every day.  But...don't think you can just say the words and not mean them - remember, He knows your heart - He knows when you mean it and when they are just words uttered.  You can fool some of the people some of the time...but you cannot fool God!

Life up your voice in praise and offer the genuine repentance for your sins.  Let Him lead you by the hand and take you to a place that is peaceful and warm...where you will not hunger, will not be thirsty, will never be alone and will always be loved...His presence!