Act Now

Mark 1:15 “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

If you haven’t noticed lately, the world is changing rapidly. You may be one of those people who has checked out of this world. You’ve heard enough bad news, all it does is makes you anxious and so you choose to not listen to it. I can respect that.

I don’t want to be the one to give you more bad news, we hear enough of that already. What I like to do is listen and try to see the world from a biblical point of view and relate it to the changes we are witnessing today.

Sometimes when I lay down and think about all that is happening in the church and in the world, the pieces begin to form a picture and the image can be encouraging.

So that is what I want to do today….encourage you.

The Messiah has Come!

If you haven’t heard, Jesus has come and is coming again.

My guess is that you’ve heard about Jesus coming many times and yet the day ends, the next morning arises, and life goes on like it has so many times.

We have been waiting for Jesus’ return for 2000 years, imagine being one of the people who was waiting for the Messiah the first time, they waited 4000 years!

When Jesus arrived, I would think it was hard to believe it finally was happening. When Jesus approach the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, she was broken, destitute in sin, and living under shame. It took a little convincing by Jesus to help her understand who He was, and when she finally received Him, she ran into town declaring it to everyone.

John 4:25-26 “The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

When I read how Jesus revealed to her who He was, I am left speechless as to God’s manner of revelation. A woman living in shame, living in sin, and essentially an outcast of her society. A woman who was of a people that was looked down upon, a woman among a despised people…she was the lowest of the low at that time.

That is our God. Those are the people He sees and chooses to reveal His glory to. The promise of Isaiah became her promise at that moment Jesus changed her life forever.

Isaiah 25:8-9 “He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

For the woman at the well in Samaria, the wait for the Messiah was over at that moment. What had been talked about for thousands of years was finally happening; it must have been overwhelming to consider.

Imagine being in the shoes of Nicodemus when Jesus was ministering, teaching, and doing all of His miracles. For a man who had dedicated his life to service in the synagogue, it would have been difficult to accept that Jesus was the Messiah. Nicodemus would have formed an image of the Messiah that he had expected to see and since Rome ruled over the land, what better time for God to send the Messiah to free Israel from captivity.

John 3:1-2 “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”

Can you blame Nicodemus for being skeptical? He had been so invested into practicing and teaching the law, the very notion of God walking in his company would have also been overwhelming.

We don’t see Nicodemus following Jesus as a disciple but we do have evidence that he had been impacted by Jesus after His death on the cross.

First we witness Nicodemus meeting with Jesus at night so as not to raise suspicion of his allegiances, then later we see him defending Jesus’ rights at His trial.

John 7:51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”

The fear of risking losing his position by following Jesus turned into a boldness and tenderness of supporting Jesus at His crucifixion and wanting to honor Jesus at His death.

John 19:39 “Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.”

Nicodemus was entrapped by his power, wealth, and position…it was very difficult for him to give up all these things and follow Jesus. Comparatively, the Samaritan woman was poor, disgraced, and essentially hopeless, how much easier was it for her to accept the Messiah and receive salvation?

Does the comparison of Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman tell you anything about people?

God revealed who He was to both of them and yet the woman had far less obstructing her than the Pharisee who was suppose to be more prepared for the Messiah.

Jesus is Coming Again!

Where are you right now?

If Jesus were to come today, would you be destitute enough to receive Him or be so entrenched in your circumstances that they have become stumbling blocks in your path to new life?

Matthew 11:4-6 “And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

The path to Christ is either one of acceptance or offense. Our circumstances can heavily influence how we respond.

The New Order

Jesus represents a different order than this world lives under. Depending on how much you have invested into this world, Jesus will turn your world upside down when you follow Him.

For the Samaritan woman, she moved quickly from death to life. She had all to gain and very little to lose so her path to the Messiah was much simpler than that of Nicodemus.

Has it been difficult for you to give up your life for Christ?

There is a reason Jesus spoke these words….

Matthew 19:23 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

If there is something obstructing your path to Jesus…act now to remove it. There is nothing in this world that holds greater value than the salvation that is in Christ alone.

For some, the path is much more difficult. It’s not impossible for a rich man or woman to come to Christ, Matthew was a rich tax collector and managed to follow Jesus to his death. Zacchaeus was also very rich but recognized the wealth of Christ far exceeded his wealth on earth.

The riches of this world are only temporary, the fame, power, and prestige cannot hold a candle to the glory that awaits God’s people, for those who trust Him with all their hearts.

The time is near…the signs are evident that Jesus is coming soon again. Don’t be caught surprised when He comes, be ready, have your lamp burning brightly and know your salvation draws nigh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s