Monday, June 15

Revelation 3: Thief in the Night

I am one of the few people I know that has been robbed at gun point. I was trained on what to do if it happened. I even knew that it was possible but somehow I was still not prepared.

At the bank teller window, the guy slid me a note and threatened me with a gun. I was so surprised, I laughed at him. I thought it was a joke. I knew very quickly that this was no joke by the serious threats this guy was giving me. He went on to rob other banks and eventually shot and killed a young teller in Santa Cruz, CA before he was caught.

My point: even though I knew that being robbed was possible I was not ready. I was enjoying a normal banking day .... emptying the ATM machines, and managing customers. I was not ready.

Read: Revelation 3:1-6; Matthew 24:37-44
1"To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Matthew 24:37-44
37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

How would you create urgency? How would you introduce the real risk of falling asleep in life (Rev. 3:3)? How would you communicate to those you love the importance of staying close to you?

Jesus did it through story and imagination. "If you KNEW that you were going to be robbed tonight what would you do differently?" Really think through that. Imagine someone coming though a window in your home or hiding in a closet. Imagine someone hoping to catch you off guard. They want to clean out your house. You are going to lose everything ... tonight! What are you going to do about it?

Wake up! Make a plan! Get ready! Do not act like all is normal (Mt. 24:37-39). Live with the urgency and the focus required of the followers of Jesus.

What do these passages teach us?

1. It is possible to get sleepy toward the Kingdom of God (Rev. 3:3).

2. We can get distracted by the "normal" things in life: marriage, eating food, working, having children (Mt. 24:37ff.).

3. Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready (v. 42, 44).

4. We must keep watch (v. 42-43). You and I cannot "know" by perception or observation when Jesus will return so we must always be ready.

Do you live as if Jesus could return any second? Is your life marked with urgency? Or have you become sleepy? Are you pursuing money, retirement, a better lifestyle for your kids? Are you pursuing your marriage more than Christ? Your kids? These are not bad things that Jesus lists. These are all good and necessary. Food is not bad. Marriage is good. But it is not a replacement for the Kingdom of God!

Are you ready? How does it show? If we were ready we would be:

1. Captured by heaven and eternal things

2. Waiting for Jesus

3. Bold in our witness

4. Live with urgency and focus

5. Giving away more than we keep

You may never be robbed at gunpoint. You may never have your home broken into. But ..... if you knew it was coming ...... you'd make sure you were ready! You'd do what it took to not be surprised. You would change your priorities ("repent" in Rev. 3:3) and get ready.

Ok, so I need to tell you ...... there is a thief coming. What are you going to do about it?

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.

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