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Friday, October 13, 2017

Like a Scout, We Must Be Prepared

In 1907, a movement began in the United Kingdom with the aim of helping young people in developing physically, mentally, and spiritually. That movement, called the Scout Movement, or Scouting, became a worldwide movement that includes the Boys Scouts of America, one of the largest scouting organizations and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States. Not long after, the Girl Scout movement was born. The motto of the Boy Scouts and of the Girl Scouts is "Be Prepared." Being prepared means that scouts is always ready to become productive citizens, strong leaders, and ready to bring joy to the lives of others. Scouts should be ready in body and mind to face whatever challenges life may bring.

As believers in Christ, we must also "be prepared." Christ will return on a day and at an hour that is known only to God. Because we don't know the date and time of His return, we must always be ready. In his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul instructed believers that Christ will return and gather all believers, the dead and the living, to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). That day, the day of the Lord, will come upon us like a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). And that is why we must be prepared. But, what must we do to be prepared?

In that same letter, Paul gives some final instructions to the Thessalonian believers. These instructions are for us as believers as well. While we wait for the return of the Lord, we are to respect those who labor among us, those in positions of leadership in the body of Christ. We are to show them the love that they deserve for their work among us (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). Paul also addresses those of us who are leaders, urging us to provide correction and support as needed. Leaders are to provide firm counsel to those who are idle and be gentle with those who are weak, showing patience to all of them (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

Paul's instructions also tell us that none of us should repay evil with evil. Instead, we must always seek to do good to fellow believers, as well as to those who are not believers (1 Thessalonians 5:15). It is God's will that we live lives that are filled with joy in all seasons of life; we must pray continually and give thanks to God no matter what the circumstances are (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We must always allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, to guide us and to counsel us. We must never quench His work in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:19). We must not reject prophecy but must test what we hear and what we read by holding it up to the Word of God to determine if it is from God (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

Above all, we must abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). We must live lives that are beyond reproach, seeking to be like Christ, striving to have the mind of Christ in all that we do. When we follow these instructions, like a good and faithful Boy Scout or Girl Scout, we will "be prepared" when the day of the Lord comes.

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