As of today I am 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I’m sorry to say I had to actually look at a calendar and figure out what week I was on to provide that information for you. We are expecting our third child, and while our excitement and love for him or her is equal to that of our first two children we are just too busy to count down the days until “the Big Day” as we did for the others. Besides, as many of you know who have children already, rarely does the precious package arrive on “the Big Day”. For most of us, we know that baby arrives precisely when he or she is ready and not a moment too soon. A few days before “the Big Day” (sometimes a few weeks before) expectant parents eagerly wait for any sign of labor. I remember with my first pregnancy I refused to go anywhere that was more than a half hour away from my hospital once I was within my last two weeks. And any slight discomfort was recorded and diligent attention was paid. So, as you can imagine, going four days overdue was torture for me. In the end, my son (who is still a comedian) arrived on September 4th, 2006, “Labor Day”. Ha Ha….
The waiting and preparation for that day, especially by first time parents, is eager and well planned. You’ve read all the books, packed all the bags, attended all the classes and are ready at any moment. These were my thoughts as I read my devotions tonight.
 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
(Matthew 24:43-44 ESV)
As I read these verses at the end of a busy and admittedly wild day, my pregnancy came to mind. I am expecting this baby to come. I know he or she will come. I know what signs to look for when the time draws near for his or her arrival. I know what I need to do to get ready but I haven’t had the time to put much in order yet.
Then I thought of how early and well prepared I was for my first born. And I had to compare it to what these verses are saying about expecting Jesus’ return. The Bible clearly tells us that there will be an end to this earth and that it will coincide with the return of the Son. We are told to expect it and prepare for it. Yet we do not know when it will come. The Father alone knows the day and the hour.
We put so much effort and care into the preparation the precedes the arrival of a child, how much more could you begin now to do to prepare for the expected arrival of the Son of God?
 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:15 ESV)
1.) You could “read all the books”. Reading and studying God’s Word, in truth, is one of the best ways to prepare for Jesus’ return. If we know what the Word says, and we’ve interpreted it accurately through careful study, then we will be wise and discerning as we are in the world living as foreigners and nomads who are preparing to go home.
 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
(Matthew 10:16 ESV)
When we are “full” of the Word we will be able to respond with grace and wisdom in our trials and we will be able to live with a clean conscience as we walk in the Spirit and are kept innocent from evil.
2.) You could “pack your bags”, figuratively speaking, meaning you live each day with the understanding that God is Sovereign and in control of your next breath. Not only should we be waiting expectantly for the day that Christ returns, but we should know that we could be called home at any minute. What regrets would you have if you knew you were going to die tonight? Seriously, think about it and ask God to help you change those things now. Repent, if necessary, be sure of your salvation, ask forgiveness of God or of people if needed.
 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,  to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,  which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,  who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
(1 Timothy 6:13-16 ESV)
Search your heart and examine your faith while there is time. As the Scripture says, he “gives life to all things“, be grateful for this chance to live for him, and prepare your heart for his appearing.
3.) Finally, to prepare for the expected arrival of the Son, you could read Jesus last command to his disciples and obey it for his glory and out of love and gratitude for the ransom he paid for your life.
 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
Speak about the gospel with people more than any other subject. He is coming “at an hour you do not expect”.
I want to prepare for his coming like I did for the coming of our first born, with careful preparation and ready at the drop of a hat. I am so in love with the child in my womb at this moment, and I think I’ll go and pack my hospital bag 🙂
Make yourself and others ready for “the Big Day”. Joy eternal awaits…..
Preparing the Way,