Friday, November 15, 2013

TRADING COMPLACENCY FOR EXPECTATION

Message today for law enforcement officers.

Today's Scripture:  “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”
2 Peter 3:3-4

A rookie who is fresh out of the academy and eager to hit the street usually doesn't have to be reminded to beware of danger. As I remember my rookie days I was always on alert.  I always wore my vest and anticipated trouble on every traffic stop, domestic, and alarm call. However, as the years passed by I found that it took more focus to keep myself alert to danger and to prevent complacency from setting in. As you look around your department chances are that you see other LEOs who have gradually given in to complacency.  Without them realizing it they have taken on the "it will never happen to me" attitude. Many times it is also these same LEOs who tease the ones that are mentally prepared and make fun of their tactics. Regardless of where you find yourself on the issue the fact is that we need to be ready at all times because we never know when things are going south.

Just like we need to be prepared on the job, in a much more urgent way we also need to be prepared for our Lord's return. The topic of Christ's return is one that draws sharp criticism and mocking from many who don't believe. In today's text Peter addresses this and also exposes the argument that many scoffers use. The argument is that He has not come back after all this time so why should we believe that He will return in the future. The truth is that "He is not slack concerning his promise" (2 Peter 3:9), and that He WILL return as He said. For this reason it is critical that we maintain a heightened awareness and keep ourselves prepared at all times. As long as we are clothed in this flesh we are prone to mistakes, but our greatest fear should be that we would grow complacent and begin living in such a way that we are ashamed when we see our Lord face to face.

Peter reminds us in verses 8-9 of this chapter that a day is the same as a thousand years with God, and that His delay is a demonstration of His desire for all to come to repentance. However, Peter quickly follows this up in verse 10 by saying "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night" which indicates the surprise of His return. Are you prepared for that day? It could happen any moment, and the single most important factor that we need to have settled before hand is that we have repented of our sins and placed our faith in Him as Savior. The next most important factor is to make sure that we have used the life He gave us in such a way that we are not ashamed, but have instead brought Him glory and honor.

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