And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)
The motto of the United States Coast Guard is a simple Latin phrase that could have helped me in high school but is an absolute necessity in my spiritual life: Semper Paratus, “Always Prepared.”
Truth be told, I enjoyed high school Latin, but that didn’t keep me from joining in the good-natured hallway chant as we made our way to class: “Latin is a dead language, as dead as it can be. First it killed the Romans, and now it’s killing me.”
Actually, what was killing us was that we couldn’t figure out our teacher’s system as she called on us to translate for the class a portion of our homework passage from Cicero or Virgil. She didn’t go in alphabetical order or by a seating chart. She didn’t alternate between guys and girls. No, Miss Wiggins was unpredictable, and it worked. It meant that we always had to come to class prepared, because any day might be “the day” for us.
Someday will be “the day” when our Lord returns. Since we can’t predict when that will be (though many have foolishly tried), we must always be ready. As the aged apostle John wrote to his children in the faith, we must daily continue in Christ if we want to be confident before him at his return.
Be ready, and stay ready.
—Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. He co-authored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.