2019-01-29 - Preparing Our Buckets
I was recently walking through a hallway in a church building, when I noticed that there was a bucket sitting right in the middle of my pathway. It wasn’t raining, so at first, I puzzled over it. Then I remembered that rain was in the forecast, for a day later. Someone wise had prepared the church’s bucket, so that when the rains fell, the leak wouldn’t cause sickening mildew problems, nor would it ruin the carpet. Good for health and stewardship.
This reminded me of how we should prepare ourselves, in our spiritual lives. Most obviously, we should prepare for our eternal future. God has made it simple. We don’t have to expend any effort; the work is all of the Lord. This so that the glory is all His. But it helps us, too. We don't have to worry if we are measuring up or doing enough.
As Paul wrote to the Church of Ephesus, and may be found in Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV), For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Our part is to repent of our sins, which means to sincerely express regret and determine to turn from them, with God’s help.
Then, we must accept Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf:
As the Apostle John wrote, and is recorded in John 3:16 (EHV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
But we must not stop there. We must also prepare for following God in our everyday lives.
The book of Ephesians has some poignant instructions for that, as well.
Ephesians 6:14-17 (EHV) Stand, then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness fastened in place, 15 and with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace tied to your feet like sandals. 16 At all times hold up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17 Also take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
More good advice may be found in Hebrews 10:25 (EHV):
25 Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have the habit of doing. Rather, let us encourage each other, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We should depend on God to provide what we need and help us live lives of love, hold on to the truth of God’s word and our belief in our salvation, stand strongly in our faith and for God’s principles, and be both a giving and receiving member of a local church. Then we will be doing our part, to prepare our buckets.
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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.