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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Transparent Arrival

But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. (Mark 13:32, 33 ESV)

Well, its December 22, 2012 and the works is still here, along with everyone else that opened their eyes today. There is a song that I used to love when I was younger! I never knew the meaning of the band Queen making this song and I didn't know all the lyrics but I loved the song, Another One Bites the Dust! That's how I feel about this latest prediction of the world ending in December 21, 2012!

Since 1970, a very significant year for me, there have been 41 predictions concerning the end of the world. Obviously, all attempts have failed, however I bring this up because in plain sight and in black and white it is said that "no man" knows (KJV) the day or the hour. The word for "hour" in the Greek text is hora (pronounced hōrä) and can mean a time or season. My question if it is written in black and white, why are so many who claim to be of faith and "know God" still trying hard to produce a date? Seriously, do we really want to know and will that bring about change or just laziness and selfishness until the time is near? Perhaps we don't know because if we did, this is precisely what would happen. Which brings me to verse 32. While Jesus answered the Disciples question of when the signs he talked about would be done, his answer of no man knows, he also gave them a command that is prevalent yet forgotten today. He told them to be on guard and keep awake because no one knows the time.

I can remember CHRISTmas season as a child before my parents divorce. I can remember always thinking how silly my parents were to try and hide my presents from me. I would search every year from the age if about 7 to 12, the CHRISTmas after they separated, and would always find my presents! I would incorporate my brother in this feat as well, after knowing he wouldn't go run his mouth telling on me of course! One important factor is to know that we are military brats. So we moved quite a bit. A few of these times, my junior detective work would be in a new house, but I always solved the mystery! When done, I would carefully lift off the tape, glad tape is much stronger these days, and open the presents, just a bit, to see what I was getting.... okay and to tease my brother about knowing what he was getting in those years before his preschool detective work. I was always excited to know what my presents were and that upped my anticipation for CHRISTmas morning when I could tear into those carefully wrapped bags and boxes only to leave the living room in a huge wrapping paper debacle. But on that day, even though I woke up excited, would stare at the presents like a hungry lion does while laying in wait for that exact moment it's prey is oblivious to its presence, and mind you, I was up by 4:30-5am! Even though that anticipation boiled over like an old school percolator filled with coffee, when my parents, in what seemed to be DECADES later, came to the living room as a signal to start tearing into the flesh, I mean wrapping paper, I was never as excited as I was when I first knew what I was getting. I said all that to say, that's how us knowing when the end would be.

In such a sin soaked world, where the Burger King motto has become our new National Anthem, would we really use the time we knew the end date to wisely? Many terminally sick people spend their time with family and friends, doing things THEY never got to do and buying things THEY never had as if they could take it with them. When in fact, vs 15 says do not go back for anything. There are even those who have been diagnosed and go on a revenge spree hoping that they will have the time to "get right with God" before they die. Rarely has anyone been told, "you have this many days, months or years," and they sacrificed even more, spent more time in their Word, growing and hearing from God, dedicating even their last breath to live out His will for them, sharing His Gospel. Don't get me wrong, it is done. But those are people we don't hear about. They seem to die quiet deaths and only the hearts they touch cry out for them. The ones we do hear about are those who had no idea when they were going to die and spent their lives as His Light, radically changed for Him! This too is good. My point is, if we all knew when our "expiration date" was, would we continue the way we are? Why do we need a date to tell us we should surrender our lives to Jesus when we can do it now and live out our days filled with love, joy and peace as the adopted sons and daughters of the one true King and reap all the blessings He has for us?

The rumors of wars may or may not have begun, depends on who you ask. The Rapture may or may not be, and may or may not have happened already. Nations may be rising against each other, but they have been doing that for centuries. The world may be in labor pains to make way for Jesus or we could still be in the beginning, who knows! Birth is a complicated thing. But what I do know is He WILL be coming in a cloud, the same way He left in his ascension, and He will be coming to collect His elect. We have but one life, and how we live it, Who or what we serve will testify as to where we will be. He IS coming back and we do NOT know when that will be. Once you grasp hold of that, how will that alter how you live?

Heavenly Father, You reign on high! Yet You are so personable to be right here with us in the midst of all we go through. Help us to focus on You and not when You will come. Forgive us for being selfish people who sit and wait like at a bus stop, never interacting or speaking to anyone because we are only focused in our destination. Help us to be secure that You are coming back for us, like You promised, so that we can go about our lives in such a way that we bring people to that "bus stop" with us to ride to our destination Home with You. And for those who do not know You, who are wounded and as a result have chosen not to know You, help them to see the loving, faithful, just Father You are and because of You their lives would be forever changed! Start a WildFire in us and help us to be bold in proclaiming Your Gospel in all nations (Mark 13:10). Help us to endure these birthing pains and to be on guard and awake. Thank You that the days are growing shorter so that the time will grow nearer! Call us to repentance, Lord, and others to salvation! In Jesus name. Amen!