So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected. — Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)
Preparation is a key part of life. When significant, important activities, events, decisions or responsibilities are ahead of us, it’s wise to prepare. In military terms, soldiers in training are reminded that those who sweat in preparation are less likely to bleed in battle. Preparation is one of the ways you pave a path to a better future.
To prepare for something is to get ready, be ready and stay ready. It’s the wisdom to look ahead and understand what’s on the approaching horizon and to take positive action before you arrive there. A key phrase in this definition is “take positive action.” Preparation is never passive, it’s always active.
Preparation is also a statement of faith and belief. You know that someone believes an event is going to happen when you see them preparing confidently and intentionally ahead of time. You know that a person truly trusts in a promise when you see them getting ready in advance for its fulfillment.
During the final week of Jesus’ earthly life, what’s commonly known as His Passion Week, Jesus had a conversation with His disciples about preparation. On Tuesday of that week, after an intense morning at the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus took His disciples up on the Mount of Olives, directly east of the old city. In that peaceful setting, Jesus talked about some not-so-peaceful days to come. He spoke about preparing for them. Jesus gave some sobering instructions and warnings about getting ready, being ready and staying ready for the day when He would come again.
There are few topics that stir more interest, intrigue, and sadly in some cases, skepticism, than the Last Days, or the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. “When will it happen? How will it happen? How will we know it’s about to happen? Is it really going to happen?” All common questions when the subject comes up.
While Jesus talked that Tuesday about certain signs of the Last Days and His Second Coming, He strongly emphasized one main thing: Get ready! Be ready! Stay ready!
Jesus reminded us that His death on the cross was not the end of His story. Not only would He rise from the dead and ascend back to heaven, He would, absolutely, no-doubt-about-it, come again! No one can predict the day, the hour or the moment, but it will happen. We are to live every day prepared for that day!
Are you ready, or not?