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When days are over, make sure youre ready
In the pulpit
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The year 2012 is almost over, and Jan. 1, 2013 is on the horizon.

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2012 and embrace a new year, we can look back, reflect and anticipate things to come.

Many things happened in 2012 — some good and some bad; some expected and some unexpected; some gladness and some sadness. Throughout the myriad of experiences, God remained in charge.

During the past year, we endured a sluggish economy, a divisive political season, ongoing and one horrific tragedy after another. America — the land of the free — keeps experiencing the senseless loss of innocent lives, most recently in Newtown, Conn.

Every year, things happen that cause us to pause and ponder. Natural disasters seem to intensify; the weather gets a little hotter and a little colder. We watch as people experience gut-wrenching grief, yet God saw fit to allow us to live.

We should thank God for allowing us to come this far. However, the old phrase “at the end of the day” would be applicable here. As we live out the final days of 2012, ask yourself whether you’re ready for your end of the day.

In Deuteronomy 34 and in 2 Timothy 4, we find both Moses and Paul preparing to die. God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. But because of people’s disobedience and sin, God let them wander in the wilderness for 40 years when they should have been enjoying life in the Promised Land.

Moses knew he would not reach the Promised Land because of his own disobedience, but God did not forsake him. God let him look into the Promised Land. God gave him a long life of 120 years; Moses’ body was still in good physical condition, and his eyesight was not dimmed. Moses fulfilled his assignment, and he was ready to depart. At the end of the day, when Moses died, God himself buried Moses.

Paul zealously persecuted Christians, but he had his life turned around on Damascus Road. One moment, he was persecuting Christians, the next moment he was on fire for God. Paul did what God asked him to do.

Paul endured many hardships and afflictions simply because of his love for God and his boldness in declaring God’s word. At the end of his journey, he found himself in a dungeon awaiting execution. But he had no regrets; he was not fearful.

During the remaining days of 2012, are you really ready for the end? If Jesus were to return today, are you ready to go back with him? You are the only one who can answer that question. You know if you are ready.

When you reach the end of your day — as Moses and Paul did — are you sure God will be pleased with your life here on Earth? Will you be able to look back and say, “I tried to do what God wanted me to do? I was born a sinner, but one day, I gave my life to Christ because I realized I needed him.”

Or will you be like the foolish rich man in Luke 12? He was so busy building and wanting more, he did not have time for Jesus. His soul was lost because Jesus came at a time he least expected. He missed eternal life with Jesus.

Is the hustle and bustle of this world keeping you from giving your life to Christ?

Make sure you are ready to go back with Jesus.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”

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