winter olympics, church, 2014 olympics, devotional, Christian, keep watch

Keep Watch

I am convinced God is a sports fan. I am sure some will think I am biased in my assessment but as I read through the Bible I find it replete with references to athletics. Now you may say that it is stretching the point to include warfare, but aren’t most athletic contests just civilized forms of warfare? And Paul was very specific about comparing preparation for the Christian life with preparation for a race.

Even though I have gorged myself with television coverage of football this past month, I am still amazed at how detailed the networks get with their coverage. There is hardly an aspect of the game that they have not thought of to cover. While most of the reporting deals with players, recently there has been a lot of emphasis on equipment. Recently the emphasis is on helmets due to an increasing awareness of brain injuries. They even have sensors they can put in helmets to measure the force of the impact the athlete is experiencing. No part of the body is exempt from coverage or special attention. And every piece of equipment is continually being tested and tweaked to make is lighter, stronger, more flexible, more supportive, more, more, better, better…

And now with the Olympics on the horizon we are seeing companies touting new and improved clothing and other kinds of equipment. Like Nike’s new ultra-lite, skin tight, hooded shirt that keeps you warm, lets the wind glide off the skater and “breathes” so the athlete does not get too warm. And then there are the shirts, pads, pants, gloves…and what about shoes! Every kind of shoe you can imagine—and even some you likely have not imagined. Sometimes the rules people have to step in. Like the swimming outfits that reduced, and seemingly countered, water friction, excessively aiding swimmers propel themselves through the water.

Elijah did not know how easy he had it when he tucked his cloak into his belt to beat Ahab to Jezreel (I Kings 18:46). But, as Pastor Chad noted at church, Elijah he knew that having the right clothes arranged in the right way was important to be able to perform his best. Pastor Chad also mentioned the servants waiting for their master in Luke 12. They had to be properly dressed and have oil for their lamps so they would be ready whenever their master arrived. There was no WalMart or Fred Meyer open 24/7 so they had to plan ahead and be prepared.

Some of you have been in the military. You know that being on guard duty in the early morning hours, say 12am-4am, can really be challenging. You are tired, it gets colder, sounds are amplified, your mind fills with random thoughts—some good, some not so good. Also, that is the time most opportune for the enemy to attack. You need to rely on your equipment and your training.

Jesus was the perfect example. He was always ready, He was always serving. We don’t know when He is coming back but He has commanded us to be ready. No one can accurately predict when He is coming back so our only reasonable course of action is to be constantly ready and waiting, something we should be longing for.

You need to start acting like Jesus will return at any time. If you are not a Christian, now is the time to accept God’s gift of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice for you. There is no second chance.

If you are a Christian, are you waiting on God? What aren’t you doing that you should be? What are you doing that you shouldn’t be? Become more of a person waiting for Jesus. Keep developing your relationship with God.

Take waiting for Jesus serious…make those needed changes in your life now. Keep watch!

What do you think?