It is spring time and in Nebraska that means one needs to be aware of rapid weather changes. One moment it can be sunny and seventy degrees and the next moment it can be snowing! One thing about Nebraska, the weather is constantly changing which makes living here never boring!
There was a day not so long ago that the western part of the state was hosting a snow storm of epic proportion, winds howling with gusts well past fifty miles per hour and blowing snow which triggered a blizzard warning weather advisory. On the eastern end of my fair state several counties were having problems with weather of a different nature, they were preparing for spring tornadoes and the clean-up from the aftermath of tornadoes that touched down and did major damage. Yet in the upper middle of the state there was a small earthquake. Where I lived in the middle of the state we dealt with heavy rains and flash flooding. That day the weather was certainly in a mood to bring whatever it wanted to my fair state. Many of us were prepared for the weather we faced in our locale because we had listened to the meteorologists that kept issuing local Weather Advisories. We appreciated these warnings and most of us heeded them as well.
The Weather Alerts system is a major part of our daily lives in Nebraska because we are warned of pending dangers. Some advisories alert us to possible tornadoes or fire threats due to dry grasses and high winds. Some alert us to potential snow fall and hazardous travel and remind us to stay home where we can be safe. Still other alerts warn us to be careful around rivers and creeks because of possible flash flooding. We may look out and see a beautiful blue sky with clouds far in the distance and yet be warned that by evening we will possibly experience large hail and heavy rains. Such warnings are important and often save lives as well as vegetable gardens. We know when to cover the tomato plants or the roses so that hail doesn’t damage our plants. I wish that we also had an Alert system for Christian living!
Think about it, wouldn’t it be great if we were alerted on a particular day that we should stay home because if we get on the highway and travel we will have a car crash that will negatively alter our family for the rest of our lives? Or wouldn’t it be great if we were warned that next week we would be going through a divorce, or someone we love will be diagnosed with cancer? Wouldn’t it be great to find out ahead of time so that we could be prepared for such life altering shocks? Or would it! This reminds me of a scripture.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own, Matthew 6:25-34, (New American Standard Bible or NASB).
Yes Jesus teaches us to not be anxious about our future and to focus on today because we live in the moment and not in the past or the future. I agree that this is the best way to live my life because I was a person for many years that lived for the future. I wasn’t content with the small home and the small children and the small income. I longed for the day when I could afford to purchase more than two pair of shoes or have more than two purses. I longed for the day when my husband would graduate from college or when we would move to a new military assignment. I longed for when we would go on vacation and go home to visit relatives. In all that pining for the future I missed being the best Mom, the best friend, and the best wife to those I cared about. I don’t know about you but it sure took me a long time to grow up in the Lord and to realize that the most special time we ever have is today, right now, in this moment! We aren’t promised that tomorrow even exists, did you know that?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:13-17, (NASB).
God is the record keeper of our days, (Psalm 139:16 and Job 14:5), and only God knows how long you or I will live on this earth. We who live for Christ need to be reminded sometimes of our own mortality and we should live with intent and purpose. In a sense, though, we have been alerted to our limitations by certain writings in the Bible. There are many places in scripture that teach us what to expect in life, sort of like an alert system.
His disciples said, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. “Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world,” John 16:29-33, (NASB).
Jesus was teaching the disciples that in the near future their whole world as they knew it was going to radically change. Jesus would die, they would be hunted, Jesus would rise from the grave and they would continue to be hunted and eventually killed. But before their deaths they would spread the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many people in many places. Wow! What an alert! Okay, you may ask, that “alert” was way back when Jesus was still alive and breathing, surly there isn’t a message for me in that is there? There are some alerts for us today as well, take a look.
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” Matthew 28:16-20, (NASB).
Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover,” Mark 16:14-18, (NASB).
And one of the most wonderful and glorious alerts in all the Bible is the last words Jesus spoke that are recorded in the book of Revelation, the last book in the Bible. Well, they are wonderful if you obey them and follow Jesus!
And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. “Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. Revelation 22:10-20, (NASB).
Now that is the alert of all alerts to watch for, wouldn’t you say? So do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? Do you acknowledge Him as the Son of God before all humans? Do you love Jesus and obey His commands to love one another, to help the poor and needy, to be gracious, to show mercy, to pray for your enemies and so on? I hope so.