Life takes unexpected turns. We respond in disbelief and typically observe that we were not prepared for the situation. It is difficult to prepare for the unknown. After all, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” It is impossible to prepare for every possibility. God does not want man to live in a constant state of worry about the trivial aspects of living. “Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. “Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” (Luke 12:22-23 NKJV) David’s life experience with God was such that he had absolute confidence in God’s provision. Despite hunger, fear, heartache, and loss David knew God would take care of the righteous. “I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25 NKJV)

Trusting God has never meant sitting back expecting a handout. Man was given responsibility in the beginning to “dress and keep” the garden. Difficulty was imposed on that work after Adam sinned. Laziness has always been condemned. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV) Provision comes through labor. (Ephesians 4:28) Refusing to provide is a rejection of the gospel. (1 Timothy 5:8) “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NKJV)

God has made preparation for our eternity. Jesus described the events that will take place at His return during which the faithful will inherit a kingdom. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:’” (Matthew 25:31-34 NKJV) Abraham was willing to live the life of a nomad on earth in exchange for the eternal city built by God for the faithful. (Hebrews 11:8-16)

Making provision based on God’s promises requires faith. Noah spent years building an ark never experiencing a flood. Noah had never seen rain! (Hebrews 11:7, Genesis 2:5, Genesis 7) In fact, all the “heroes of faith” lived the entirety of their lives in obedience without realizing the eternal promise. Many gave their lives trusting that God would make good on His promise. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:9-10 NKJV) We trust in the same promise.

Preparation requires diligence whether it is preparation for winter or the soul preparing for judgment. The unjust steward was commended by his master, not for the misuse of the master’s property, but for making preparation for his future. The steward shrewdly reduced each debtor’s bill so they would in turn be indebted to him when his employment ended. (Luke 16) Preparation also requires discipline. “When He (Jesus) had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:34-37 NKJV)

Life in this world is short. Prepare for judgment.

Ken Fleeman (9/12/2021)

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