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Preparing for the Times
Week 51, 2017
In the last two weeks of this year, we will take a break from our study of the Book of Revelation to briefly re-examine some basics that will help prepare us for the times. The world is careening toward the final clash of ultimate issues—a major part of biblical prophecy and the Book of Revelation scenario. There has never been more excitement, or the potential for adventure, like we have right now. So we need to occasionally look back on the basics that will keep us on track.
Knowing what will happen is not as important as being prepared for what will happen. The most important thing we can do to prepare is to abide in the Lord. There is no safer place that we could ever be than in His will. We can know all prophecies accurately, but if we are not abiding in Him and doing His will, we can be in as much trouble as those who know nothing.
The Lord gave us simple, basic instructions about how to do this. After reciting to His disciples the signs of the end of the age, He gave three things to do to be ready:
1) stand up
2) look up
We must stand up for the truth. We must accept that doing this will offend many people, but to not do this offends the Lord. He said in Luke 6:26:
"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets."
He added in Luke 16:15:
“You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God."
He asserts here that if we want to do what is acceptable to men, we will be doing what is detestable to God. The reverse is also true: if we do what is acceptable to God, we will be doing what is detestable to men. Someone is going to detest what we’re doing. Who do we want it to be?
If we are trying to win men by doing what they approve of, they will never respect us enough to hear us anyway, and we will lose God in the process.
To “look up” is to keep our attention on the One who sits above all rule and authority and dominion, rather than keeping our attention on the troubles. Peter could walk on the troubled water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. When he took his eyes off of Jesus and began to look at the troubles, he sank, and so will we.
Do not ever let anything steal your joy in the Lord, because the joy of the Lord is our strength. If we have built our lives on the kingdom, and are abiding in the kingdom, then we are told that the kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). If we abide in His righteousness, we will have peace such as the world cannot comprehend. This leads to a joy that is not dependent on the conditions on the earth. Never lose your joy.
So, why not make a resolution for the new year that we will excel in doing these three things? What could be more profitable in our life? If we do these, we will also be growing in faith, love, and patience.
next week 52