Yesterday I left you with a challenge as far as putting together a list for you and me. It is our checklists with what we really need to survive in this world and the next. Our system of checks and balances should surround our belief system through the Biblical, the Systematic, and the Evangelical aspects of being ready and really caring enough for people that we prepare their readiness too. Little did I know that I would get one of those calls from a family member who had been taken suddenly from the world in a tragic accident in Jersey City. Was he ready? I don’t know, at 41 I don’t think I could have been prepared to leave this world. But from all reports this was a loving and giving young man who put his marriage and family first. That’s where we start our list, putting God first and the people we go on this journey with. At home, at work and in our neighborhoods.
#1 Love God
What a place to start- “Love your God with all your heart soul and mind…” That’s what Jesus told the teacher of religious law. So as you are writing your packing list put that as number 1. What does that mean? It means to make sure that you are in communication with God on a daily basis. Prayer for the day is just a short get-away that makes you think right! It gets us through the tough times and provides ways for you not to sabotage the good times. Talk to God, form a relationship with him by reading his word, singing songs of praise, telling the stories about Christ and looking at what He has done, what He is doing, and hoping and praying on the promises of His future for you. As the God Father might say: “Now it’s personal!”
#2 Love your neighbor as yourself
In the accident that claimed my sister-in-laws cousin the man who caused the wreck was “under the influence. ” His wild eyed mug shot is a cause for alarm. Mike Huckabee paints a portrait of Huck-Town where everyone treats their neighbor as they would like to be treated. This means that if I am out of line than my neighbor has full authority to correct me (without worrying about a law suit) It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to good people (as it did to three families and extended families in Jay Camelo’s death,) but if everybody took the “Love your neighbor as yourself” verse and had that on their list than quite possibly someone may have stopped the man.
Jesus says that these two are the “greatest commandments- ‘all others will be obeyed if you do these two things.’
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
You can hang your hat on these two! The third is the short accounts thing. “forgive often” God bestows his grace on us because he loves us. See the systematic nature of our living? These are things we can put on our list before we go. A daily bucket list if you will. It isn’t as sexy as climbing fourteeners, it isn’t as appealing as playing 18 holes of golf every week, but when you pray for your kids, and you pray with your spouse, tell them you love them and you treat your co-workers as you want to be treated, if you talk and sing to God everyday, and you reflect on what He has done in your life and the lives of your family, and you can hardly wait to start your day, because your day is an act of worship- that’s being ready.
Meanwhile back in Jersey City the Camelo family and the Reyes Family are reflecting on the “wonderful life” of their “husband, father, son and cousin.” They are a close knit family and God will get through this tragedy. They have a lot to live for and every-time they look at that four year old little boy they will see Jairo.
So when you make your list of things to do today, don’t forget to 1. Talk to God, 2. Praise Him for what He has done in your life, What He is doing, and what His promises are. 2. Don’t forget to tell the people you love that you love them. 3. Be on the look out for people who need a touch from another man or woman. 4. Don’t leave the house or work with regrets. 5. Forgive people even those who cause great pain on families like in this case. 6. Reflect on the cross and why Jesus died and rose to forgive your sins. 7. Make it a systematic process in your daily life, because you don’t know if it will be the last time that you might see or talk to a loved one, a friend, or a neighbor.