It’s no secret that evil in the world has been uncovered and increased in recent months. Suddenly, chaos runs rampant through every nation and life doesn’t make sense on any side. Vicious men spill innocent blood. People are fleeing for their lives. Lawlessness abounds.
Whether you know Jesus or not, the facts are obvious.
For those of us who are familiar with the Bible, we are confident that Jesus is returning soon for those who love him. He promised that when we began to see these situations, we were in the beginning of a time when we would soon see him face to face. (Matthew 24)
Most of us anticipate that day with great hope and expectation.
But, what are we doing while we wait?
In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells three stories that give us a clear picture of what our time of waiting should look like.
First, we are to be prepared. We often think that we’ll have plenty of time to get ready to meet Jesus. Tomorrow we’ll stop indulging in something not beneficial to us. Next week we might start going to church. We can get into a relationship with God later. Maybe we think we’ll have a chance to scramble at the last moment when Jesus arrives. But in the story of the ten virgins, he makes it clear that if we aren’t waiting in prepared anticipation of him, we will miss living with him for the rest of eternity.
Secondly, God has given us various things to steward, or manage well while we wait. He’s created us with characteristics that can bless and encourage others. His plan is for us to use our gifts, talents, finances, and resources in the best possible ways. We can’t let fear or our poor understanding of situations to cause us to mismanage those things. In the story of the servants, the ones who used what they were given well, were given more. It didn’t matter how much they were given to start with, it was about what they did with it. They were commended with a “well done.”
Lastly, people all over the world have needs. Some are in our neighborhood or at our job. They are hungry, thirsty, lonely, sick, without daily provisions, and in captivity—either prison or in bondage to wrong thinking or addictions. Jesus said that when we do anything to help one of these, it’s as if we are doing it for Jesus. When we love him, we show his love by caring for those he loves.
How do we know what we are to do at any time?
Pray. Ask God. What do you have for me today?
Whenever he gives us a nudge to spend time with him, use our resources to help someone, or visit someone who needs a little encouragement, we need to obey the nudge. Soon, in the midst of this crazy world, we’ll be in the presence of Jesus hearing “well done.”