Devotion: Monday, December 31, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from Luke 12:37 and 40, where Jesus says,   

37 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… 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Are You Ready for the Party that Matters?

New Year’s Eve is a time when our culture looks back and then looks forward. It’s a time when we try to come to grips with the failures and the successes of the year that is passing away so that we will be ready to face the challenges and the opportunities of the year to come. It’s a time when we ask ourselves, “Am I ready?” It’s a time to assess the past and to look forward to the future as we come to grips with the moment at hand.

That’s the spirit of our lesson today on an even greater scale. Jesus calls us to readiness about the ultimate issue for our lives. The Bible proclaims that the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone is the key to all of our lives this year, next year, and every year to follow forever. Because His life, death, and resurrection has made new life possible again for us all, He is the only one who can speak authoritatively to all of us and say, “Repent of your sin and trust in me.” That’s the issue that Jesus wants us to be ready to face at the dawn of the New Year, and, even more importantly, at the dawn of His return to judge the living and the dead. Are you ready? Are you ready to meet the Savior face to face? Or, are you going to try to go it alone again this year and in the years to follow?

Throughout Luke chapter 12, Jesus is preparing us to face the big issues of life.  He has been teaching his listeners about the things that ultimately matter. In verses 4-5 He warns, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body…Fear him who, after killing, has power to cast you into hell.” He tells us in verse 15 to be on guard “against all kinds of greed.” And later, in verses 22-23, He further says, “Do not be anxious about your life….Life is worth more than food, and the body more than clothes.” But what  is most amazing to read in chapter 12 is the word that invites us to be ready and prepared for a Master who has come and is coming again, NOT TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE THOSE WHO ARE IN HIS PRESENCE AT HIS TABLE. Incredible!

So many of us have the wrong notion of God in our minds. We believe that He is a brutal taskmaster, a moral tyrant, and the spoiler of the party. In reality, He is the essence of all that is good, now and forever. He is love. He is the source of life and joy, the foundation for hope and peace. We tend to think of God as the one who demands service. Butthen we read in this lesson that the prepared ones, the ones who are waiting in faith to serve Him,  will be incredibly honored by the service which the master graciously renders to them, even above and beyond the privilege of being in His wondrous presence.

But that should NOT surprise those who read the Bible because its message is about a God who so loved the world that He sent His Son to serve and to save a rebellious and sinful people, to give them new life as a gift by grace alone through faith. If Jesus came the first time to bring life to us in abundance as a gift of grace, then it would make sense that, when he comes again,  He would bring that joyful life to fruition in the new heavens and the new earth. That will not simply bethe party of the New Year, or the party of the Millennium, but the party of all eternity! I want to be ready for that; how about you?

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me a proper perspective on what is coming when you return again. Help me to be ready for that incredible gift each and every day until that day finally comes. Come Lord Jesus! AMEN.