Growing up back in the 60s, we didn’t have very much. We had food and a home to live in and dad worked very hard to support us. We had only what we needed. We never thought ourselves as poor and we were thankful for everything we had. We shared our home with aunts and uncles and cousins and that caused us to be a very close family. One of the best memories I have is when we gathered together for our family picnic.
Dad had a 1959 red Ford Fairlane station wagon. We spent a long time preparing for the day where we would go to the picnic grounds. All of the family would bring just what they could and in the end there was a bountiful feast. The cousins, along with our uncles, would get together to play baseball and throw lawn darts. Yes, the lawn darts back then were sharp and were both legal and lethal. I got stabbed in the right leg at one of the picnics. I’ll leave that for another story. But after the countless hours of planning and preparing, there was always something someone forgot or something that was missing. On the day of the picnic, someone was running around trying to replace what was forgotten.
Jesus tells us in Scripture that, “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’” (Matthew 25:6-9 NIV) Jesus is telling His disciples to be prepared. He speaks to them in parables so that they may understand. Jesus is speaking of His coming when He will return to claim His bride. But we are not going to be able to predict the exact day or hour of His coming.
When I was growing up, I knew that sometime during the summer, we would gather at the family picnic. I knew of the event. I was always excited knowing how much fun it was. I remember loving to ride in the station wagon. Dad would let me sit beside him and I felt he would deliver on the promise of gathering for a day of family fun. But I didn’t know the exact day or time of the picnic until my dad would announce it. Jesus also said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36 NIV)
Friend, the Lord wants us to be prepared and to watch for the day. Jesus said, “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13 NIV) Be spiritually awake! Be alive and alert to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that He gives now. Use all the means God has given you to know him and love him and trust him.
This is not a story of family picnics in the 1960s, but rather it’s a story of preparation. Jesus is coming back! Jesus is coming for His bride! Are you ready? Have you planned and prepared? Let nothing be forgotten so that on the day of His coming, you may run to Him and enter into His chambers. If you want to hear an incredibly powerful and life changing message from Pastor Aaron Taylor, I challenge you to listen to, Discerning the Times: Be Prepared! You can find it by going to http://painesvilleag.com/discerning-the-times.