Dress for Action and Wait with Joy
Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Devotional for Day 21
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” - Luke 12:35-40 (ESV)
When my wife was pregnant with each of our three children and as her due date neared, my job was to get us ready for the trip to the hospital. This entailed having our bags packed, gas in the car, and the house in order. Each night I readied our things for our eventual hospital visit. When it’s three in the morning and the baby is coming, no one wants to be caught unprepared, frantically packing, or worse, stopping for gas. We prepared because the birth of our child was certain and imminent.
These verses here in Luke 12 tell us that Christ’s return is certain and we are to live as though that return is imminent. If we are honest, this is not the way we live our lives. We have much to do each day and even more we want to accomplish. The thought of Christ’s return seems far off in the distance and many years from now. This type of thinking, while common, is foolish and unwise. If we would never be unprepared for the birth of a child or the late night arrival of a dear friend or family member, how much more should we be ready for Christ’s return?
Jesus is calling us to spiritual preparedness in three ways: be ready for action, have our lamps lit, and wait expectantly. The King James version renders verse 35 as, “gird up your loins.” While we no longer wear long flowing robes that need to be pulled up and tucked in, this a clear picture of readiness and a freedom from encumbrances that would hinder swift action. Our lamps are to be lit. This is the light of our character, our witness, which Jesus addresses in Matthew 5:16, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Lastly, we are to be those who wait well. Just as we would be excited and joyful at the visit of a dear friend we haven’t seen in years, our waiting for Christ’s return should reflect that same spirit of joyous expectancy.
We should be people ever looking back to the cross while also looking forward to the throne. If we live with the knowledge of our eternal home with God ever in view, we should be willing to give all to Him, to shed the things that hold us back, and to wait well with hope and joy. So let us be prepared, live lives that reflect God’s glory, and wait with excitement, for Christ’s return is not an if but a when.
Lord, You have promised your return and while we don’t know when that will be we can be certain that it will take place. You are a God that has never failed to keep Your promises. Forgive us for our lack of readiness and help us to be people who await Your return well. Strengthen us as we wait and grant us boldness to tell others of Your coming return.
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Vox
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