Summary: So many people think of salvation simply as a preparation for death and what comes after the death of the physical body. Salvation has much to do with one's preparedness to live life in its present context.
A Time For Preparation
Pastor Steve Evans
December 2, 2018
Preparation is underway!
• We are officially in the countdown to Christmas
• It’s hard to avoid all of the clichés about not knowing where the time has gone and the fact that this year is nearly over.
• I for one cannot believe that it’s December already!
• Time really does fly!
• We are not simply in the “Holiday Season,” and I’m not sure if you’re aware or not, or if you have readily identified it as such or not be, we have also entered into a season of “preparation.”
• Tell the truth, how many of you went “Black Friday Shopping” this past week?
? Was it fun?
? Be honest! Did it get physical?
• Why did you do it?
• Was it not part of your preparation?
• Let’s be honest most of what we’ll do for the next few weeks will be in preparation for December 25th!
• We’ve decorated the house; the stockings are hung by the chimney with care… We’ve purchased the gifts; or at least begun. Strategies are in place for visiting families and making sure that we can fit in all of our obligations.
• So, how are you doing on your preparation?
• Are you off to a good start?
• Have you started at all, or do you procrastinate?
• I'm sure that there are some of you who are almost done.
• I’m sure that there are some of you who will wait until the last minute as well!
Preparation is essential
• If we are seeking a career, we would choose a course of education that will prepare us for our experience in the field.
• If we are participating in something of an athletic nature, we choose a form of exercise that will prepare us for the test that lies ahead.
• If we need endurance, we train for endurance.
• If we need strength, we do strength training.
• If we're going to cook a dish, we must collect the ingredients. We have to prepare the ingredients
• There are few things in life that we do that doesn't require some degree of preparation.
• We prepared to come to church this morning.
• We will prepare to go to work tomorrow
• We even prepare to go to bed.
• It seems like the greater something’s significance in our lives, the greater the amount of preparation required.
Failure to prepare
• It's been said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
• There's a sad reality that I have observed in my life and that is that there are people who will prepare for a great many things and are successful at a number of things, but life in general, not so much.
• They can earn a living, but they don't know how to live.
• Their careers are flourishing but their homes are failing.
• Their portfolio is growing, but their personal life is languishing.
• I simply want to share with you that you not only need to be prepared for a great many things in this life. You need to be prepared for life!
• There are a lot of places you can get to by accident.
• I'm sure if you were to take a poll there are a lot of people who would testify that they never intended to be where they are today.
• Most places that people aspire to be requires preparation.
A simple story
• I want to share with you a story from the Christmas narrative that I pray will underscore in your mind the principle of preparation and will hopefully give light to its true source.
• It's one of my favorite parts of the story surrounding the birth of Christ but it seems many times that this particular part gets buried beneath the shepherds, wise men and angel choirs.
• It is found in Luke chapter 2 and if you will turn with me there, we will begin reading at verse 22 about a man named Simeon.
• When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.