ARE YOU READY? PART TWO

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

The question we ended our last visit with was “Are you ready?” 

Are you ready to head off into eternity should that moment come for you today?  Just in case you are wondering, if you believe scripture, it is a 100% certainty that this short, earthly life will end for each of us.  We will all make the transition into eternity.  Which eternal destination is up to you.  I strongly recommend the Jesus route.

But this is what has been rolling around of late in my, saved by a miracle, head.  Assuming we are ready for eternity because we have followed Jesus, He has saved us from our sin, and we have the confidence of Heaven; then there is a second question to ponder.  Are we ready to live like we have made that decision?  

Whether you ever have that close call that reminds you of how quickly this earthly life can be ended; or go through a long health battle with an ugly disease; or you just deal with the trials our fallen world brings; you must be ready to live for Jesus if you have accepted Him as savior.

I think too often in Christendom we just want our get out of jail free card.  Our salvation card if you will.  We think we can say, “Sure.  I’m ready if I get hit by a bus tomorrow or get diagnosed with cancer.  But until then, I will just keep my free pass tucked away and live like I want to live.”  Can I just tell you; that is not how it works.  How do I know?  Check out these verses.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive our demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.  Away from me, you evil doers!’

Luke 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”  

The older I get, and the more experiences I have with Jesus, the more I think that He was pretty serious in these verses.  We are not called to just accept this free gift of salvation and then go on living like Hell, the world, our unsaved friends; whatever thought the Holy Spirit just put in your mind.  

This Jesus thing should change us.

It shouldn’t take getting your head almost smashed to put you on the right track; however it often helps.  When we give our lives to Jesus it’s not just so we can say we are ready if that happens, but it’s suppose to be all in, life change.  Now you’re wondering what does that look like.  Here are some thoughts:

• Treat your waitress poorly because she forgot your refill?  

NO; ask if you can pray for her, tip her well, look totally different than 90% of her customers.

• Run up behind the dude that pulled out in front of you and act like a fool when he looks in his mirror?

NO; just slow down and assume he didn’t see you or is going to pick up his sick kid at school.

• Get mad at my spouse for not doing all the things I think he or she should know I want them to do after all these years.  

NO; love them like Jesus tells me to and like He loves me and you.  Bless them every chance you get and deal with all our own selfish issues.

• Quit your job and be a missionary?  

NO (unless you’re sure God tells you to); you have to be a missionary at the job God has already given you.  Pray for your co-worker, right there at the machine or your desk, when he tells you his kid is sick.

Are you with me yet?  Most of this stuff is hard and completely counter-cultural.  That’s why it matters so much.  God lays it all out for us in this guidebook for life He calls the Bible.  Once we accept Jesus as our savior it should be our life goal to live for Him in recognition and praise for what He has done for us.  Not because He makes us like some dictator from above; but because our hearts are now turned to Him and we just can’t help it.  Praise Jesus!!!

So, I’m praying you have said yes to the first question, to Jesus, and are ready to meet Him; whatever the timing or circumstance.  And if you have, that leads us back to our second question. 

Are you ready to live for Him?

SO, WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= What are you going to do differently?

ARE YOU READY? PART ONE

(Post by: Scott Hobbs)

I would have told you last Wednesday, if asked, that I had experienced many close calls in my life.  I probably would have said it with some very appropriate male bravado; maybe even with a twinge of arrogance.  Then I would have checked myself a bit, probably due to some conviction from the Holy Spirit, and added, very seriously, that the Lord had always been so good to protect me. 

You see, I have worked around equipment, machines, trucks, and everything in between for decades.  I’ve driven well north of a million safe miles; been through blizzards, high winds, and other storms of various degrees pulling just about anything you can imagine.  But last Thursday something very different happened to me.  Something I’m still trying to wrap my mind around and asking God to put meaning to.

I was working with a good friend of mine and hauling some material for him into a landfill some distance away.  In order to dump the trailer, Lincoln and I had to back up on a huge ramp that tips the trailer almost straight up to get the material to slide out the back.  I then had to unhook the truck from the trailer and pull forward just a couple feet.  On our last load of the day, the tipper operator had lifted the trailer a little, causing me to be unable to pull my pin to release the trailer from the truck.

As I reached back under to try again, he was letting the trailer down to help remove the pressure, and in an instant I found my head pinned between the tire of my truck and the bottom of the trailer.  One ear pressed against the tire and one ear pressed against the bottom of the trailer.  I was looking inward toward nothing but steel frame rail.  It was very quiet, both ears were covered and smashed into my head; yet it seemed deafeningly loud.  I pulled with all my strength and my head would not move at all.  It seemed as though my head was being squeezed as tightly as it could possibly be in a vise of rather a strange creation.  The pressure was incredible.

I remember thinking, “How in the world did I get here?”  As I pulled with all that was in me, the thought came that I’m not sure I will get out of this alive.  A friend asked me what I was thinking about; my wife, my kids, what they would do without me?

Actually, the last thing I remember was just pulling as if my very life depended on it; it did.  Then saying to Jesus, “Lord the only way I’m getting out of this is if you save me.”  He did.

After being stuck for what seemed like an eternity, probably really 10-15 seconds, I found myself standing beside the truck looking at where, just a moment ago, I had been struggling for my life.

I have to be completely honest; I was scared.  Scared like I have never been before in all the “close calls” I thought I had experienced over the years.  I had absolutely no control over this situation, and I knew it.  Please understand, I’m not scared of dying; I know where I’m going because of Jesus.  I just really didn’t want to get there because of a crazy turn of events in a trucking accident in the middle of a landfill.

Here’s the bottom line.  For me, and I don’t know fully why just yet, Jesus lifted the trailer and pulled me out.  I walked away with minor injuries and still have trouble believing that I am alive.  Only He could have saved me; there is no explanation other than I am living proof our God still does miracles as He sees fit. 

He lifted the trailer for me.

So the only thing you have to ask yourself is, “Are you ready?”.  You see, as tragic as it may have been for all those left behind, should God have chosen not to pull me out of that vise, I was ready.  Only because of Jesus and what He did for me on the cross and my full belief in Him.

I may only have one more day.  Tomorrow could be your day.  Sometimes it happens in an instant and there is no turning back.  So you really must ask yourself, “Am I ready?”

SO, WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?

= Have you had a personal encounter with Jesus?

= Has your lifestyle changed if you have encountered Jesus?

= What are you going to do differently?