The Importance of Spiritual Preparedness

The Importance of Spiritual Perspective.
Matthew 24:42-51
“DThrefore be on the alert, for you d not know which day your Lord is coming.”

Not focusing on the future will result in a wasted life in the present. In the mundane of the day, it is easy to slip into a pattern of merely going through the day and living simply in the moment.  It is not that the days are wasted, for we are often devoted to suitable activities; it is just that we fall into the trap of focusing merely on the present needs and circumstances, and the priorities of our spiritual lives become pushed to the side. The routine supersedes the significance.
Having described the events leading up to his return, Jesus now points to the application.  Because he may return at any moment, we are to shift our focus from the daily repetition of life to a focus on the significance and implications of his return.  To illustrate his point, Jesus draws upon two illustrations.  The first illustration is the threat of a thief.  If we knew that there was a genuine threat that someone would break into our home this week, we would immediately take measures to prevent it.  We would set up the necessary safeguards to protect our home.  Furthermore, we would make these safeguards visible to deter the thief from attempting the break-in.

The second illustration is about a slave who is put in charge of other slaves.  Because the master is gone for an extended period, the slave begins to take advantage of the other slaves.  Since he believes that the master is not returning soon, he is driven by his agenda.  Instead of fulfilling his master's wishes, he becomes captivated by his selfish desires.  In the end, it leads to his disaster.  Because of the sudden master’s return, the wicked slave cannot cover his track.  As a result, he finds himself facing the wrath of the master.

It is easy to see the application.  The delay in Christ’s return can result in complacency on our part.  We get so focused on the present that we lose sight of his imminent return.  It is not that we are deliberately rejecting Christ.  We just become caught up in the day-to-day activities of life and the pursuit of our agenda.  We are more concerned about pursuing what we want to accomplish rather than seeking God’s kingdom purpose.  When we think about our spiritual life, we always think, “Well, I will get started on it tomorrow.”   Instead of prioritizing our relationship with Christ and being involved in the ministry of a local church, we spend our time pursuing the needs and desires of the moment.  When we accept Christ, we are not just saved from sin, but we are placed within the body of Christ for the purpose of using our spiritual gifts, talents, time, energy, and possessions to advance Christ’s kingdom.  Salvation not only involves a change in our character but also a change in our priorities.  Yet, in the daily grind of life, Christ’s purpose gets pushed aside.  The significant becomes obscured by the insignificant.

In his teaching, Christ reminds us to keep our focus clear.  We are to live to recognize that Christ will return to establish his kingdom and that his return is imminent.  Therefore, we should not become complacent in our lives. The immediacy of Christ's return requires us to maintain a clear focus on his kingdom priorities, for in the end, that is the only thing that ultimately matters.  If Christ were to return today, would you be ready?  Are we putting off our involvement in his kingdom's purpose because we are too busy pursuing the temporal and insignificant?  If we wait until tomorrow or when it is convenient, we may have waited too long.

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