Monday, November 2, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Get Ready

Friends of Faith:

Am I chosen OR am I ready to be chosen?

“I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal, one hundred and forty-four thousand marked from every tribe of the children of Israel.” Rv 7: 4

Many of us have read this passage and probably wondered like I have what I could possibly do to be a part of the “chosen” 144,000, knowing as I know myself that this number over the last 2015 years is minutely small – a sliver of all of the Christian people that have come and gone, and in humility, without trying to fool myself, honestly knowing that I am not even close to being or becoming holy enough to being ONE of only 144,000.

So why do I, and should we, continue to seek holiness, to be Christlike, and to live for God? Why do I continue to strive to achieve heaven when at times it can appear to be so unachievable? Why do I have hope? Because this verse is followed by this passage:

After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne, and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They prostrated themselves before the throne, worshiped God, and exclaimed: “Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me, “Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.” Rv 7: 9-14

God may have only “marked” 144,000 but he has left the door open for all those who in hope seek his mercy; for those who in perseverance and patience seek to know Him and to do His will; and for those who remain faithful to Him despite temptation, persecution, sufferings and sorrows.

This passage is not about a few, about being “gifted or chosen,” this passage is about being prepared, about hope and mercy and about a lifelong journey towards God. For only God will know whether I am ready and whether I have done what it is that he has called me to do. My job is to be willing and to be humbly ready to lay down my life for Him so that I never feel too “chosen” or so “privileged” that I fail to do the one and only job he calls me to do – to love everyone else as unconditionally as He loves me.

Lord, we are a people that long to see your face. Help me to be ready to do your will, to stand against evil and to desire what is not vain. Help me to seek to know and acknowledge all that I have been blessed with, to be in your presence every hour of every day, and to be ready when I am called. Thank you for your patience and your mercy. It is through my hope in you that I find peace and joy. To all may there be blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might to our God forever and ever. Amen. (From Ps 24)

So I strive to give up my prideful ways and my desire for earthly belongings and in humility to become “marked” by a ready willingness and an eternal hopefulness that through His grace and blessings I will be chosen BECAUSE I was ready AND willing to do His will: in love, with love, by love and for His love.

So on your mark, get set, get ready – Love – because God awaits,


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