But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. (1 Thess. 5:8)

WHEN AN EXPECTANT MOTHER plans for a hospital birth and is close to her due date, she keeps a suitcase packed. It contains everything she and the baby will need during their hospital stay. At any given moment, the suitcase may have to be grabbed as people rush out the door for the baby’s arrival. The packed luggage is crucial. No one wants to have to try to keep their wits about them and search for the things both mother and baby might need at the hospital because the bag wasn’t packed before she went into labor.

Likewise, we don’t want to be caught without the suitcase of our hearts packed when Jesus returns to earth. A belief in God with everything that’s in us, a love that forgives those who hurt us most deeply, and the hope of salvation, showing our sins have been forgiven those are the items we must have packed in our suitcase. If we failed to pack these things, we won’t even make it out the door.

Prepare the suitcase of your heart for the coming of the Lord with faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

Sandy Haney has been an elementary school teacher for over twenty years. She and her husband, Marty, have two grown children and two grandchildren.