Heavenly Father, you ask the question of all people: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24:15, NIV). May our response always be to serve you and you alone Lord,
“Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:25-29
All this week we have discussed “being ready” for Christ’s return. Today’s devotional carries the topic of “there will be punishment for those who reject Christ.” I would dare say that, very often, in our hearts and minds, we do not plan to reject Christ…but we may put off our decision to follow him. Maybe there are more things in this world we want to discover. Perhaps we have a few periods of enjoyment we still must indulge in. Whatever your excuse might be, know this – if you put your decision to follow Christ off until later…you risk losing your opportunity to join him when he returns.
The parable of the ten virgins depicts this situation quite well. There were five wise and five foolish virgins, all waiting on the Bridegroom’s (Christ’s) return for them. Five were prepared with enough oil while the other five did not have adequate oil and needed to leave to get more for their lamps. Matthew 25:10-13, NIV, picks up - 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Are you ready?
Many may “reject Christ” by putting off their decision to follow him until it’s too late to make that commitment. However, there are those who do, consciously, reject Christ, for many reasons. They have been hurt by the church or believers; they saw loved ones rejected by those who call themselves Christians; or they have never heard the Gospel message and are waiting on someone to share that message with them. Have you ever considered that God’s plan for sharing the gospel with someone is to share it through…you? In our daily prayer time, may God open our hearts to being the hands and feet of Jesus. May we always be open and ready for God to use us as his instrument to share the love of Christ every day. That may mean praying for someone, serving a meal to someone, encouraging a person, or sharing the Gospel message with an individual. Let’s be willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus and always be ready!
Dear God, remind us that we are your hands and feet. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God,” (II Corinthians 5:20, NIV). May these words live in our hearts and spirits today. May we walk in obedience to you and your word, oh Lord.