Emmanuel Grace

Built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself being the Cornerstone

A People Prepared

It says about John the Baptist that he “went on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(Luke 1:17).  He came to “prepare the way for the Lord.” 
The other week I was reading in Luke(chapters 9+10) and I noticed a repetition of this same idea: 
“As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him."
Then again, in the next chapter: “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.” 
The Lord sends his disciples ahead to the places he intends to pass through so that people are prepared and the place is ready. This time, Jesus is coming to the whole world and his destination is once again Jerusalem. He is resolute.  
If you don’t have time or the care to read all of this- the sum is we must PREPARE. 
Not only are we to prepare ourselves but, like the disciples, we are to go out ahead and prepare others. This is the time to wake up and be readied and proclaim the coming kingdom of God so that others are ready too(though many will not listen). 
 It can’t be more succinct than this. This is what Jesus often told his deisciples. Watch and pray. be prepared. Be ready. Do not be caught off guard. Be sober minded and ready for action. Do not be like the five foolish virgins. 
And what are we preparing for but the return of Jesus! The bride prepares herself for the bridegroom-we have a responsibility!

 I believe we are supposed to Iive as if the master will return home at any moment. We  must stop thinking so much about our worldly circumstances, dreams and ambitions and begin living the normal Christian life. We are are meant to be a separate people in all ways. A watchful people, a prayerful people. A prepared people.
Here is what I see. I see an opportunity to be trained not only for our own sake but for the sakes of others. Why are you in despair, dear Christian? Strengthen your weak knees! The Lord is with you! Why do we lament the loss of busy, scrambling, mind-numbing activity? Why are you hoping your children can return to school for your own ease and comfort? Why do you feel restless and cooped up in a home where God dwells? Why do we struggle so much with stillness? How can we be bored when we have direct access to the King of Kings, God Almighty.
 I know the cares of the world weigh heavily. I am not distant from the struggle to untangle, I too miss hugging my family and seeing friends. I also am still a work in progress. But I see a certain way in the bible and I know the transforming power of Jesus when we say to him, “Here I am Lord, I am willing". I’ve tasted and seen it and I want more of the church to know this too! I don’t want this time to pass and we not be changed; for the lock downs to end and us go on as it was before, happy because we can watch our sports and have the kids out of our hair. Let’s not waste this time! Seek the Lord. He loves you and has wonderful things for you! The desert comes first but God shows up in it and his promises are sure. Be steadfast. Have courage!

Trial is one way God uses to reveal himself to us. And this time of testing is an opportunity for all  to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ so that we can be a prepared people, ready to do the works God has prepared for us and ready for the things to come. We must learn to be patient and be trained in endurance. Perseverance is essential for the Christian. 
I want parents to experience the joy of spending full days with their children without wishing them away. We must teach our children more than just reading and math-you’d be surprised at how much they understand about the things of the Spirit. Talk, and learn alongside them about God and his kingdom.  I want believers to see the good, and dare i say it, the joy,  of going through hard things which God uses to reveal himself and equip us to do the works he has given us. We are not meant to be a people who mope over our circumstances! Happiness is not our goal in this life but rather maturity in Christ(which will include deep joy and contentment)- for his glory. I hope you know my heart--I want to encourage you. This is not a condemnation but a nudge to wake up and seek God for yourself. He longs for us to be in deep relationship with him, not just a shallow wave hello on Sunday's while our hearts are far from him! 

Are you afraid? Let him train you in trust. Are you worried, let him train you in peace. Are you busy and restless, let him train you to be still and know. The places we are anxious are signposts pointing to where we don’t believe God will come through. let’s turn, ask forgiveness and seek him.  Ask forgiveness for our complacency. This moment in history is given us to grow  if we choose to do it.  
Ultimately, preparation is to sit at the feet of Jesus. Many of us have been given the time to do this now. How many have said that they don’t read the bible because of lack of time? Well, now our words are hanging in the air, waiting to see what we will do. Reading our bibles, prayer, worshipping and giving thanks are ways we sit at his feet. We cannot trust God if we don’t know him. We cannot know him if we do not spend time with him. If we don’t spend time with him, how can we know what he is saying to us? It is time. 
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefor do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is…( and you can keep reading on your own :D) Ephesians 5:15-17
Have courage! You are not alone. I pray you will know His peace today, 

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