When I was a kid, I remember coming home from school and having a chore list on the kitchen counter. The chores included mostly simple things like sweeping out the garage, trimming the grass (with clippers), taking laundry off the clothes’ line, putting my clean clothes away, feeding and watering the dog, emptying the dishwasher, etc.
Typically, my dad was the one who wrote the chore list for my sisters and me, and usually, I did the chores I was asked to do. Why do you suppose that was so? Well, I did the chores for three primary reasons…
- I knew my dad would be coming home.
- I wanted to please my dad.
- I did not want to face the consequences of not having my chores done.
If the chores were ever done inadequately, you can believe I was told to do them again. Looking back, I realize such chores were good for me, but I never enjoyed seeing those chore lists. Still, I also never wanted my dad to come home before my chores were finished. I knew he was coming home, and I wanted to be prepared. And, the only way to be prepared was to do what I was told.
Likely, there are things in your life for which you prioritize being prepared. I would like to challenge you, though, to prioritize being prepared for the return of King Jesus as your greatest priority.
After Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to win the victory over sin and death for all who call upon His name, He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. This is made clear in Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:1-11, along with the truth that He will come again to judge the living and the dead (see also 2 Timothy 4:1-2).
I wanted to be ready for the return of my dad by having my chores done. How much more do I want to be ready for the return of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Judge of the universe?! When it comes to being prepared for the Judge’s return, though, there is bad news, and there is good news.
The bad news is that we cannot possibly finish our chore list before Jesus returns (or before our life on this earth is finished). In other words, we cannot do enough to satisfy our perfect Lord and earn right standing with Him. Our sin (our failure to perfectly obey God’s Word and “finish our chore list”) makes us deserving of eternal death. Thus, we are simply unable to be adequately prepared for the Judge’s return. This is bad news for all of us!
Praise God, though, that there is good news. While we cannot possibly earn favor with God nor make ourselves prepared for the return of the Judge, we can be declared right with God and made prepared by trusting in Jesus’ sacrificial death and victorious resurrection. Do you realize how amazing it is that we can be declared righteous by the Only One who is righteous, and that declaration will never end?! Yes, that is the reality for all who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
Do not try to work your way to God and think you can “finish your chore list.” Jesus already did the work, and when you trust in Him, He will change your heart and life forever. Yes, the evidence will be a growing desire to obey His Word and work on those “chores,” but that desire will be because of what you have received not because of what you can earn.
On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching through Luke 24:50-53 and challenging those who hear to really be changed by the truth about Jesus. The reason we are to respond rightly to Him is because of who He is, and the urgency of that response is because of what He is certain to do. The sermon will likely be available HERE by Sunday evening.
Will you trust Jesus to change you? Will you understand the urgency of that change not just for you but for everyone? Let us trust and follow Jesus and help others to trust and follow Jesus!