“Your kingdom come; your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (NASB)
If we truly want Jesus to return and His kingdom to come, we need to be much more focused on following His instructions. We need to let Jesus know we are busy preparing for His arrival. Honestly, we should be way beyond preparation by now – we should be prepared – but we are not. This is not entirely our fault. We have an extraordinarily crafty and capable enemy who is doing everything possible to keep us busy elsewhere. Jesus simplified our mission when he commanded us to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Most Christians do a good job loving God, but when it comes to loving our neighbor – unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in preparation for the return of Jesus. We need to do a much better job pushing the devil aside in order to serve those in need.
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 (NASB)
We need to share the love of God in every encounter we have throughout the day; but at the same time, we have to avoid the devil taking advantage of our willingness to serve. For instance, if a large group of Christians puts their resources together to feed the local homeless population, much more can be accomplished than if each person is trying to feed the homeless on their own. This is one way the devil uses misdirection to weaken our power. Feeding the homeless individually is a good thing – but a large group of Christians working together is likely far more effective. Don’t let the devil send you off on your own and thereby weaken the Body of Christ.
There are times when working on our own is absolutely called for; however, the devil wants us to believe we are too busy to slow down and respond to the individuals we encounter with sincere love. The devil puts people in our lives specifically designated to distract and drain our capacity to love. As a result, we end up giving less to those most deserving. We have to prioritize our efforts. We each need to focus our time on those God has placed closest to our heart and do our best to direct others to another resource.
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB)
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As pointed out above, when we work together we expand our capabilities exponentially. When we stand together as a team for Jesus, our ability to block the efforts of the enemy is also greatly enhanced. Christians working together as a team deepens relationships and builds coalitions that can be called upon again and again to serve God efficiently. In preparation for the return of Jesus, we should be maximizing our efforts by building effective teams whenever possible.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NASB)
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Ultimately, our greatest team effort will be our entire church congregation focused and dedicated to serving God by serving others. Most churches have ongoing outreach programs, mission programs, and community service projects. Too often, these ministries are only a small part of any overall church focus. Our best preparation for the return of Jesus will include churches that are 100% dedicated to serving God by serving others every single day of the year. Churches should be facilitating team efforts, one-on-one efforts, and whole congregation efforts to stand up for Jesus in service to those in need.
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40 (NASB)
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None of us should be sitting around waiting for someone else to get the ball rolling. Each and every one of us needs to be on mission twenty-four-seven. The devil and his minions never sleep. They are constantly looking for ways to distract and divide the Body of Christ. When we are all passionately dedicated to serving God by serving others, we are an unstoppable force. Take this moment to evaluate your own role in God’s plan. Use the resources provided here combined with your own talents and resources to move forward one-on-one, as a team, and along with the whole body. Serve God by serving others. Stand up for Jesus by following his teaching and demonstrating to those around you the value of knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.
“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12 (NASB)
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