april 10, 2023

“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:6

If you are a motorcycle rider then you know very well just how important it is to be alert at all times and watching the other motorists on the road.  We have been instructed, at some point, to ride as if we are invisible.  We are told this because the odds are not in our favor should we get into an accident with a much larger automobile on the road.  I’m surprised by the texts I get when someone hears about a motorcycle accident, anywhere within 100 miles of my home.  Of course, my mom, on the other hand, just worries in general.  She messages me anytime she hears about or sees a motorcycle accident, no matter where in the world it happens.  As motorcyclists, we must be aware of these issues that can arise and we must keep our wits about us, our emotions in check, and our heads on a swivel.  Staying alert, while riding, greatly increases your chances of a successful ride and, should trouble arise, mitigating the potential harm that could result because of the carelessness of another.

Our spiritual life requires an even greater level of alertness from each of us, because if we aren’t alert and cautious in our spiritual lives the end result could be far worse than a motorcycle accident.  Our spiritual alertness can be the difference between an eternity in heaven or an eternity in hell.  Jesus cautions us of the need for us to be spiritually alert in the 24th chapter of Matthew.  

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

-Matthew 24:36-39

In the days of Noah, the Lord was prepared to wipe the whole of humanity from the face of the earth because of the rampant sin that pervaded the lives of every man, woman, and child that was alive at the time.  If we go back to the 6th chapter of Genesis we find these words:

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.”

-Genesis 6:5,6

We see, right here, in these two verses just how much our sin hurts God.  He created us for fellowship with one another, but most importantly, for a relationship with Him.  When we allow our sin to become the center of our lives, we read that it grieves the Lord.  The people, during the time of Noah, were so wrapped up in their sin that they had lost their focus on God, they were no longer spiritually alert, and they had no clue of the impending disaster that would befall them.  Everyone, that is, with the exception of Noah.  We see this again in Genesis chapter 6:

“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

-Genesis 6:8

Does this mean that Noah was a perfect and sinless man?  Not at all, it is just that Noah did not lose his focus on God and he did not allow his sin to become the center of his life.  Noah was obedient to God.  The rest of the people on earth were not prepared, they were not alert and they were wiped from the face of the earth because their sin was their god.  We, like those people in the Old Testament, have no idea when the Lord will return and we must remain alert and vigilant for the day that He does return, whether it is during our lifetime or not.  Again, Jesus’ own words caution us of this:

“But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have left his house to be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

-Matthew 24:43,44

We are not meant to know when He will return, we are to simply be ready at all times, knowing that His return can come at any moment.  So how do we prepare ourselves for His return?  What does it mean to be spiritually awake?  Well, it’s not as complicated as one might think.  First, you must have a relationship with Jesus Christ and you accomplish this through salvation by grace through faith.  Repent from your sins, you simply cannot escape your sin nature, but you can be more aware of that sin nature and you will learn to recognize the aspects of your life that grieve the Lord, so you repent of those sins and you restore that precious relationship with Him.  We cannot indulge in our sins, they must grieve us as well.  We must also help to prepare others of Christ’s return, and we do that by sharing the Gospel with others, sharing our testimonies, loving others with the love of Christ, and being a living example for the free gift of grace that we are all welcome to partake.

Be alert, keep your head on a swivel, trust your life to the Lord and you will avoid the greatest harm your soul could ever know, an eternity separated from God.  Don’t wait, start right now because Jesus told us:

“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”

-Matthew 24:42

No one knows, so we must always be ready.

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