Greeting Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
There are many things happening in our world right now; an unstable economy, an seemingly endless number of groups threatening our country, civil unrest in varied cities, and a nation that seems bent on removing God from every facet of our society. With the anniversary of September 11th every autumn, and our own government stating that the threats ISIS has made against the United States are credible, our country is once again shifting into a state of readiness we haven’t seen for nearly a decade. Add to this the possibility of a natural disaster or health pandemic and we begin to recognize how quickly things could become quite serious for us all.
Now, this is not a message of fear, but a message of wisdom. God has always called on His people to be prepared. In Proverbs we are told to look at the actions of the ant. An ant spends its time gathering and storing food for the winter. “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6) In Genesis chapter 41 we see that God has given Joseph the interpretation to Pharaoh’s dream of the seven fat cows and the seven lean cows. Seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. The wise response was to store up food during the seven good years in preparation for the seven lean years to come. In the New Testament, we see a warning to the one who fails to provide for his family. “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8)
The simple fact is, most people today are fully reliant on a system that is not fully reliable. What do I mean by that? Well, we rely on the grocery store to have food on the shelves whenever we need it. We rely on utility companies to keep electricity flowing to our homes, water through our pipes and gas or propane for our appliances. We rely on computers to track our bank balances at any given moment and our gas stations to always have fuel for our vehicles. We take most of this for granted. In one way, you could say that we have decided to place our trust in these systems. The problem is simply this; these systems are not fully reliable, and under the right conditions, could be disrupted for a time or even collapse.
Now, I said a moment ago that this was not a message of fear, and it most certainly is not. It is a message designed to wake up the church. God has always called His church to be ready; to be prepared. It seems that for several decades now, we have forgotten what it means to be prepared.
Prepared to take care of ourselves, prepared to take care of our families, and prepared to take care of those who might need our help. The fact is, most people have only enough food for three days, and that’s only if their refrigerator is running. And even fewer people have enough water stored to last more than a day. In cases of wildfire or hurricane, most families were fully reliant on the government to set up shelters and feed them. They had not made any provisions beyond a day to day existence. I believe that we are called to do so much more.
We are called to be prepared. Prepared to care for ourselves and our families first. And once we have made those provisions, I believe we have a responsibility to prepare to help others. Perhaps it is someone else in the church or perhaps a neighbor. While many people will adopt a “survivalist mentality” under an emergency situation, our job as the body of Christ is to look for the opportunities to minister to those around us during times of crisis.
My question is this: Are you prepared?
• Have you set aside food and water?
It all starts with a first step. Buying some extra canned goods at the store, some bottled water. Keeping the batteries fresh in your flashlight, extra medicine on hand and a reasonable amount of cash available. Then spend some time and talk with other believers. Share ideas and look at ways to help each other. Gardens and canning were a way of life for many years. Perhaps it’s time for that again. We at Mountaintop are discussing the possibility of a Saturday afternoon group to aid one another in preparing.
If you would be interested, watch your email for the dates and times. And above all, do not let fear creep in. God is in control and He is on the throne! Nothing that comes will ever be a surprise to Him. Our job is to be ready; to be like the wise virgins. God is faithful and we can always trust Him in all circumstances. You might say, “I could never store up enough food or water to be fully prepared!”, or “I couldn’t buy that much food on what I make.” That’s okay. Our job is simply to do what we can and trust God for the rest. Remember this story?
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6:5-12)
God has called us to be prepared. I believe we must do all that we can, and then trust God to provide that “fishes and loaves” miracle when the time comes. I am asking you to prayerfully consider making sure that you are prepared to take care of you and your family, and, beyond that, to take care of and minister to those who will most certainly need it.
God bless you all!
Mountaintop Christian Fellowship
Here are some links to websites which can help get you started. These links are provided as a service for those looking to get started, but are not necessarily endorsed by Mountaintop Christian Fellowship: