Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13 (NASB)
Series Focus: “A Time for Everything”
Have you heard the saying, “Preparation time is never wasted time?” Opportunities to prepare arise every single day. Students study for tests. Athletes practice for games. We do meal prep, wardrobe prep, meeting prep, and prep for bedtime. We arrange the details for gatherings, holidays, and celebrations. We plan and prepare for our careers, weddings, children, vacations, retirements, directives, and the distribution of our estates.
With all this preparing, we should be masters at it! Many of us, however, rush through, procrastinate, or simply fail to prepare for lots of things. Neglecting to prepare properly for anything ends up costing us something—a poor grade, a lost game, a time crunch, a missed opportunity, or perhaps something more devastating. Preparation time is necessary time. God even prepares!
In Exodus 23:20 (NASB), God said to Moses:
“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.”
Jesus comforted His disciples in John 14:2 (NASB), saying:
“In My Father’s house are many rooms; if that were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
Paul quoted Isaiah 64:4 in his first letter to the Corinthians and wrote in 2:9 (NLT):
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
God has gone before us and prepared a place for us. We can’t even fathom the miracles He has prepared. Isaiah 64:4 says He prepares for those who wait for Him. From these scriptures, it is clear we have a responsibility to prepare, as well, as we watch, wait, follow, and love Him.
We have entered the third week of Advent. Derived from the Latin word adventus, Advent means arrival or coming. The season of Advent is the four Sundays preceding Christmas Day during which we prepare our hearts for the coming or arrival of Christ—past, present, and future. Jesus is the Son of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, Son of man, who was, who is, and who is to come.
Generations before Jesus watched and waited for their long-anticipated King. At last, the preparations for Christ-to-come were fulfilled. God sent the angels to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds to prepare each of them for the miracle He planned from the beginning of time. Mary and Joseph prepared for the birth of their baby boy—the Savior of the world. During Advent, we reflect on these events leading up to the first Christmas and prepare our hearts with thanksgiving.
Jesus brought peace, love, compassion, acceptance, truth, deliverance, forgiveness, redemption, salvation, and victory to all who believe in Him. We receive the coming of Jesus into our hearts through faith and we rejoice in His promise to remain in us as we remain in Him. We acknowledge the coming of Christ in this present day and prepare our hearts and lives for Him daily.
In this season of Advent, we also await Jesus’ coming again. It is necessary for us to watch, wait, study, pray, worship, and perhaps fast as we make our hearts ready for the second coming of Christ. Jesus taught us about this in Matthew 24, saying that no one—not even Him or the angels—knows when Jesus will return. In verse 42, He said:
“Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.”
The weeks before Christmas Day overflow with party preparations, cookie-baking, tree-decorating, present buying and wrapping, learning special music, many gatherings, and so much more. These are beautiful expressions of the season. As we engage in all these plans, are we bringing Jesus into them and preparing our hearts for His coming?
Let’s consciously and intentionally make time to look back at Jesus’ first coming, look around to see Jesus’ presence in each moment, and look forward as we prepare our hearts for the second coming of Christ. Let’s not procrastinate, be unprepared, distracted by all the things, or be caught unaware. May we make time to prepare for the arrival of our Lord—past, present, and future.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: 1 Peter 1:13; Exodus 23:20; John 14:2, 15:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaiah 64; Matthew 24