Being ready for Jesus’ return anytime

Being ready for Jesus’ return anytime

If you want to get fitter and stronger, it takes time. Going to the gym once for three hours won’t do it. Neither will going for a 5km run and then never running ever again. The key is to do with regularity. Even small amount of exercise, done regularly and often, will lead to you getting fitter and stronger. It is a process, something that you need to have as part of your everyday life.

When you have been working on your fitness and strength for some time, you are ready for all kinds of things. If a friend asks you to help them move house, you can physically do it. If you need to go for a hike, you will be capable of doing it. The regular work has meant you are always ready for physical tasks.

Why are we thinking about exercise? After all, this is not one of those fitness blogs! I think the process of working on our physical fitness has some useful connections to working on our spiritual health. Just like it takes regular and frequent effort to build your strength, the Christian life is also built up with regular and frequent exercise of the means of grace God has given to us. We build our faithfulness and godliness through our prayer, Bible reading, church involvement, and the love we practically show our neighbours. All of these things are regular, ongoing things, not things we do now and again.

Jesus calls his people to be ready for his return which will come at a time that we do not expect (Matt 24:44). Think about that. If we did know the time Jesus would return, we could just work hard in the days leading up to that date. It would be like those who cram for their exams, staying up late and hoping to peak at the right time. That plan only works if you know the right time! The plan some people have of indulging in their sin and then working on their faith later on has a fatal flaw to it; there might not be a ‘later on’.

Yet if we have just quietly gone about working on our godliness, we will always be ready. That is true whether Jesus comes today or in ten years. We will be looking forward to our Lord coming because we have spent so much time with Him and learning to serve Him well.

Getting ready for Jesus’ return is not a matter of working out the exact date; Jesus told us that was impossible. It is about just getting on with the job God has called us to do. Just ask yourself again each day: how I can live for my Lord today? How can I love God and his people well with the opportunities I have been given? If you do this, whenever Jesus comes back, you will be ready.