This morning during my quiet time I was reading Matthew 24. The passage talks about the second coming of Jesus and emphasises that no one knows the precise time and day, but the Father.
In this scripture Jesus takes us back to the time of Noah and likens the second coming to that. This means people will be fully engrossed and engaged with normal, everyday activities. There will be an abundance of celebration, jubilation and revelling; much of which will be displeasing to God, and the people will have no consciousness of what is to come. Just like in the days of Noah, many of us now live without regard for God, His Word, statues and even His heart. Our needs and desires have become our first priority, and in many cases God doesn’t even make it as an afterthought.
Despite all of the ‘wickedness of the human race’ and evil thoughts of the human heart (Genesis 6:5), Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God (Genesis 6:9).
Noah had a choice how he lived, which means we also have a choice when it comes to how we live. We can succumb to the standards of a corrupt world or live right by God.
In the time of Noah, the flood that was sent to wipe out the wickedness of the earth was imminent but the people were not conscious of this. Similarly, the second coming of Christ is imminent and many have no consciousness of this.
Matthew 24 illustrates just how sudden and dramatic this second coming will be. Jesus describes two people participating in normal everyday activities in the field, when one is rapidly taken away and the other left behind (Matthew 24:40). Who stays, who goes the decision is yours… Really, it is.
Jesus encourages us to basically Stay in Formation– not in those exact words, but you know what I mean.
He encourages us:
To always remain in Him : Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4).
Stay on guard: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8)
Live right: So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:15-16)
…Because the truth is you just never know.
I’ll share a personal real life example. My uncle’s mother in law passed away recently. She was home and after eating her dinner got up to put her empty plate in the kitchen. On the way to the kitchen she slipped hit her head and in less than an hour was pronounced dead. Unforeseen, unexpected and definitely unplanned. I’m sure this is not how she anticipated her demise. This isn’t a scare tactic by the way. I was just reminded of her passing when I read this scripture. For most of us, our prayer is that we are very old before we cross over to the other side. But the reality is no one knows the hour, or time, but God the Father. So we need to Stay in Formation.
Check your Form:
Are you walking in alignment with His Word?
How do you treat each day, each moment? Like you have lots more? Or do you treasure each moment? Living it with purpose and intention?
Are you using you gifts and talents? Are you maximising you gifts and talents?
How are you impacting the lives of those around you? Are you a positive influence or do you lead people down the wrong path?
I, for one need to stay in formation, I often get distracted and sucked into satisfying the desires of my flesh. But I want to be the one out of the two in the field that gets taken up (Matthew 24:40); I want to be the one that makes it in life without losing my soul (Matthew 16:26). I actually want to make it into heaven and leave a good imprint on earth of a life well spent.
Be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days (Ephesians 5:15-16)
In truth and with love,