Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, March 4. Read 1 Peter 4:4-9. 1) How does Peter say that some people live? What do they say about those attempting to live in a godly way? 2) What did Peter say is “coming soon?” How should one live in preparation for that time?
Tuesday, March 5. Read Romans 13:11-14. 1) What does Paul say about time? 2) How should we respond to time? 3) What will happen to our lives as a result?
Wednesday, March 6. Read Revelation 3:1-6. 1) What does John have to say about the spiritual condition of the Christians at Sardis? 2) What is his advice to them? 3) What would John wrie to you today?
Thursday, March 7. Read Matthew 24:42-44. 1) What does Jesus say about “the Lord’s coming”? 2) How do people respond who know and understand what the Lord’s coming means? 3) What result does this response have?
Friday, March 8. Read Luke 12:22-34. 1) What did Jesus say about worry? 2) What are the usual concerns that people have? 3) What does Jesus say our focus should be?
Saturday, March 9. Read Luke 12:42-48. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer of the Week:
Dear Father, how easy it is to forget what our true purpose is and what the things of greatest value in this life are. Lord, I pray for your LifeSpringers today.
Please set them on the course you have laid down for us all. May we, when you return, be ready and prepared to say to you, “Welcome; I was waiting.” In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
It May be at Morn
by H.L. Turner, 1978
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
When sunlight through darkness and shadow is breaking,
That Jesus will come in the fullness of glory,
To receive from the world His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
Ere we shout the glad song,
Amen. Hallelujah! Amen.
It may be at midday, it may be at twilight,
It may be, perchance, that the blackness of midnight
Will burst into light in the blaze of His glory,
When Jesus receives His own. (Refrain)
While its hosts cry Hosanna, from heaven descending,
With glorified saints and the angels attending,
With grace on His brow, like a halo of glory,
Will Jesus receive His own. (Refrain)
O joy! O delight! should we go without dying,
No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying.
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
When Jesus receives His own. (Refrain)
Devotional Article of the Week:
Sooner or later, it’s time to end the preparation!
by Tom Norvell
Have you ever noticed how much time we spend preparing? You are receiving this article a bit early because we are preparing to leave on vacation. All week long I have been preparing to write this article in my mind long before I put my fingers to the keyboard. In a few minutes, we will be preparing for dinner.
A little while after that, we will prepare to go to bed. During the time we are sleeping, we will be preparing for the coming day. Then, as the day begins, we will be preparing for the rest of the day and probably spend some time preparing for what is going to happen tomorrow. It seems that I am always preparing.
As parents, we spend nine months preparing for a baby. Then we prepare them for kindergarten and elementary school. Before they finish elementary school, we begin preparing them for middle school. More and more, middle school is becoming a time of preparing for high school, which in turn is preparation for college. Of course, all along the way we are preparing them for adulthood, marriage, parenthood, how to help them prepare our grandchildren for …
Teachers spend most of the semester preparing their students for the final exam that comes at the end of the semester. Students spend considerable time every semester preparing for those same exams.
Employers spend large amounts of time and sums of money preparing their employees for the job they have been hired to perform. Workshops, seminars, and training sessions are designed to help prepare workers to be better workers.
Coaches work late into the night viewing tapes, and reviewing last week’s stats in preparation for the next game. Players work to correct their mistakes, improve on the fundamentals to enhance their performance in the next game. Fans become armchair quarterbacks, coaching experts and offer suggestions on how next game can be better than the last.
Churches spend years planning to reach their community for the Lord. Months are spent on preparing for mission trips. Extensive plans are developed and huge amounts of money are collected for projects and buildings that are designed to help expand the borders of God’s kingdom. Training programs, classes, and specifically designed promotional efforts are conducted to prepare us to share the good new with the people next door.
I have now spent six paragraphs preparing for what I really want to say. With so much time spent in preparation, when do we get on with what we are here to do? When will parents enjoy our children?
When will our children enjoy being children? When will teachers and students enjoy being in school? When will work become fulfilling and enjoyable? When will a sport be just a game? When will Christians begin to tell our story?
Jesus spent three years preparing twelve men to change the world. He then turned them loose empowered with the Holy Spirit to go about the work of changing lives. The disciples spent those three years preparing their hearts and lives for what God had planned for them. The New Testament writers left us letters to prepare us for the work of carrying on the mission of the Lord.
Preparation is necessary and wise. It is foolish to tackle a project without proper preparation. But eventually, the preparation must end. Remember that Jesus reached the point when He said, “It is time.” At the end of the gospels He told them, “Go.” Eventually we must get on with the work. Eventually preparation time is over.
Maybe it’s time.