This month and in 2020 we will continue to emphasize our resolve to fulfil our mission given by Jesus to be a disciple and to make disciples. These “I Will” statements express that commitment and our Christian resolve to live out our lives in faith and with kingdom purpose, and we pray that they are motivating for you. Watch for new statements of resolve for 2020. To receive updates on the monthly Every Day Faith focus and the related statements, visit www.everydayfaith.ca, where you may also sign up for email communications.
We’ve just entered the season of Advent. As we turn our thoughts to Jesus’ first coming and watch and pray for His return, we invite you to view this meditation from Kenton Kutney, our credential holder from British Columbia, whose experience with a life altering disease has prompted him to creatively reflect on creation and his journey of ongoing faith in the Lord: click here.
Thank you for praying with us and living out Every Day Faith.
I will watch and be ready for Jesus’ return.
If you suddenly learned that you had one year left to live, what would you want to change in terms of how you spend your time, hour by hour, or day by day? What if you knew you just had seven days left? How would you spend them? What tasks or activities would suddenly take on a higher priority or a new sense of urgency?
As Christ-followers, God’s desire for us is that we live with the understanding that our time on earth will pass by quickly, and we should spend it preparing for eternity with Him (Psalm 90:12). Ultimately, His highest purpose for us is to know Him more and more deeply. Then we can introduce Him to others as we ourselves grow in our understanding of who He is. All of our lives—our work, our play, our joy, our pain—all of it can be considered worship as we commit ourselves to living for God’s honour and Christ’s purposes. A disruption to our expected life span should not necessarily change how we’re living from day to day, if we’re living with Jesus as the centre of our thoughts, decisions, and overall outlook on life (Matthew 25:1-13).
This December, and as we prepare for a new year, we can refocus on what’s most important if we’ve found ourselves distracted. All of creation eagerly awaits the fulfilment of God’s ultimate plan for the world—to reveal Jesus as the King of all kings, the absolute Ruler of the universe, and to show those who truly belong to Him (Romans 8:19). In spite of our challenges and temptations, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can live with these truths in mind day by day, allowing them to shape our hearts and lives, and proving God’s Word to be fruitful in our lives (Mark 4:20). Then we can be confident that we’re prepared for the joy of meeting Him face to face, whether we’re called home personally, or whether He returns for His church.
- That we will not be weighed down or distracted from our focus on Jesus by temptations, the cares of this world, or earthly ambitions.
- That we will deepen our commitment to reading and honouring God’s Word.
- That we will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit’s power day by day.
- That we will have more courage to share our knowledge of Christ and the need to prepare for His return with others.
- Do you think about the second coming of Christ? What thoughts come to mind if or when you do?
- What might you change about your general routine to be more prepared if it wasn’t too much of a struggle?
- Have you asked God to help you reorient your life in this way, if the change you desire does seem to be too difficult?
Luke 21:8-36 (NLT)
“He replied, ‘Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and saying, “The time has come!” But don’t believe them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.’ Then he added, ‘Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
‘But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you! Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But not a hair of your head will perish! By standing firm, you will win your souls.
‘And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city. For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. For there will be disaster in the land and great anger against this people. They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.
‘And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!’
“Then he gave them this illustration: ‘Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
‘Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.’ ”
Romans 8:19-24 (NLT)
“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.)”
Mark 4:13-20 (NLT)
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Matthew 25:1-13 (NLT)
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!
“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.”
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