I made it back to DIA from Atlanta by 7:30 a.m. this morning. That meant an early start to my day. I’m glad that I made the trip and it was good to be home and to jump back into the home stretch and final seven days of campaigning.
After Carter’s lacrosse games we made a long drive to Dalton, Georgia and saw Mason’s baseball games. He pitched most of the first game and was the catcher for the second. So he was involved in every pitch of both games.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand….Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” Matthew 3:1-2;5-6 ESV)
John was known as the forerunner, the prophet who prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus did not just “show up.” There were those who spoke words of prophecy about a coming Messiah and then John in close proximity to Jesus’ appearance took on a unique and special role.
John was tasked with his responsibility, but it was incumbent upon the people to respond. And they did respond. They did so by coming to be baptized, but they understood that this act was signaling a change in their life. It was combined with confessing their sins.
The coming of God’s kingdom is a time to be ready, to respond. We read in Genesis that even though Noah was a preacher of righteousness the people “…were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:27 NIV)
The people of Noah’s day heard the warning, they knew the message, but they didn’t respond. As John came to declare the nearness of God’s kingdom, people did respond. The other gospels reveal that they looked for specifics about their actions that needed to be addressed. Whether the religious leaders or the tax collectors or the soldier.
Just as judgment came on the earth in Noah’s day, just as Jesus came and appeared on the banks of the Jordan, so we see that there is a coming “Day of the Lord.” Peter declared, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” (2 Peter 3:10 ESV)
Hearing the message, knowing what is coming, demands a response. It can be to continue to eating, drinking, buying, selling, etc. or it can be a response of giving attention to our lives and being prepared for the coming Day of the Lord.
Peter asks the important question, “what kind of people ought you to be?” (2 Peter 3:11 NIV) Living by heaven’s priorities now, is not only a good way to be prepared for the Day of the Lord, but it sets our hearts and lives in a direction that keeps us on the right path.
Jesus warned, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” (Luke 21:34 NIV)
When we pray, “let your kingdom come, let your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” there is no better way to be those who answer that plea than by realizing when God’s kingdom is at hand, it is time to evaluate, to change, to act, to repent and to keep our focus on the Lord.
Prayer for today….. Lord remind us that we prepare for the “Day of the Lord’ before the Day of the Lord arrives. Allow us to be responsive to the cry from Your Word and take action that our hearts and lives will be in sync with Your plan and purpose for our lives.