Scripture: Matthew 24:36-44, Luke 12:35-40
"What is coming next? And how do we prepare for it?"
Our central Scripture today is Matthew 24:36-44. In this passage, Jesus tells His disciples, "But about that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Jesus reminds us that the details of the future remain in God's hands. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Consider a farmer. He plants seeds without knowing precisely how the weather will be or how much yield his crop will produce. Yet, he prepares the land, sows his roots, and nourishes them, trusting that there will be a harvest. Similarly, we don't know the future when we are called to trust in God and prepare spiritually.
Let's look at the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps, while the foolish ones did not. When the bridegroom was delayed, the foolish ones found themselves unprepared. This parable teaches us the importance of readiness, maintaining our spiritual lives, and keeping our lamps lit with the oil of faith, hope, and love.
So, how do we prepare for the future? First, strengthen your faith. Ephesians 6:16 says, "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." Our faith in God is our shield against worries and fears of the future.
Second, enrich your prayer life. Communicate with God regularly, and not just in times of distress. Philippians 4:6 advises, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
Third, deepen your understanding of God's word. The word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). It will guide us in every decision and direction we make.
Fourth, love and serve others. In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus taught us that whatever we do for the least of our brothers and sisters, we do for Him. Serving others is a way to prepare for the future that God has for us.
Let's take inspiration from Corrie ten Boom, a Christian who helped many Jews escape the Holocaust. Despite facing an uncertain future, she said, "Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
In closing, dear friends, remember that we may not know what the future holds, but we know who has the lot. So trust in God, prepare yourselves spiritually, and you will be ready no matter what happens. Amen.