How do you keep up with your appointments?
Perhaps, like me, the way you keep track of appointments has varied over the years depending on your responsibilities. Maybe you learned good time management habits in school or in your first job.
Everyone has their own system for keeping up with appointments. Even those who never think about their appointments have a system. They may depend on their spouse to remind them, but even that is a system.
Some may jot them on the calendar or post the appointment card someplace they see it every day. I have tried it all, and before iCal and planning software, I depended on the Daytimer system.
Some events are easier than others to remember. As a teenager, I might not have known when a book report was due, but I could tell you the date, time, and location of my next game without guessing. Some things are easy to remember, while others are easy to forget. The difference is simply a matter of what is important to us. I would never remember dental appointments were it not for automated text messages and phone calls.
What we value, we track. If an event is important enough, we will find a way to remember it. I am happy to say I have never forgotten my wedding anniversary or the birthday of my wife and children. But I will admit that I have put off buying a card or gift until the last minute.
I have become adept at pulling off a few last-minute saves when it comes to gifts and cards. But I have had my last-minute strategy fail a few times too. Just try waiting until the last minute to get a card or gift to someone hundreds of miles away. Can you say, “E-gift”?
We either manage our time or life will.
We all know life is full of appointments. Some appointments may be changed, while others set in stone.
Our appointments belong on our calendars, but the most important appointments we have are known only to God.
He [Jesus] said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority (Acts 1:7).
I knew my parents would die. They knew they would die. But none of us knew when.
I did not know when my Dad and I would play catch or golf for the last time. I had no idea when I would sit and talk to my Mom for the last time. But there were last times. Then there were no more times.
You and I may have a doctor estimate our time of death, but only God knows when it will be. We all will stand before God at an appointed time. I think even the most ardent atheist knows this deep within.
“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27 ESV).
We know we have these appointments. And unlike my dreaded science fair projects, we may try to deny them, but we cannot delay them.
But we can prepare for them.
We prepare by believing the gospel or good news about Jesus Christ.
What is this good news?
Paul wrote the Corinthians and said:
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance:
“Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, 4 that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
You may say, “I already believe that!”
Wonderful! Tell me how your life has changed as a result of believing it?
One may believe the gospel academically and nod in agreement with it, but still not be ready for their appointment with God.
Genuine belief affects behavior. A change of mind results in a change of life. Do you believe these statements?
God Almighty loves us so much that He gave His sinless Son as a sacrifice for our sin
That He raised His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, from the dead
And that He offers a new life, an eternal life, a life worth living, that begins now to all who believe (trust) and turn to Him (the Lord) in surrender
When someone believes they respond by surrendering to God and His offer of forgiveness, God promised to save them! If we have truly believed and placed our trust in Christ, whenever the appointment comes for us to stand before God, we will be accepted because the Son of God will stand with us. He died for us and will represent us at the judgment.
Maybe you would want to make an “appointment card” of your own:
You Have an Appointment
To stand before God
Date and Time:
Next, place this card somewhere you will see it every day as a reminder.
When you trust Him for forgiveness, knowing He died for you, you may want to write across your "appointment card" in big, bold, red letters:
By His GRACE, I am READY!
Someone has said,
You're not ready to live until you are ready to die.
When we are ready to die we can make the most of whatever time God has given us. We can do things we know will matter that have a lasting impact. We can even lay up treasures in heaven (Mt. 6:20-21)!
So, until your appointment with God, make the most of your time by building on these actions:
Pray - Invest time talking to the Lord
Read, meditate on, and study the Bible - Be teachable and ready to obey as He speaks to you
Worship - Consider His infinite glory and grace and express what He is worth to you
Connect - Connect with a local group of Christ-followers for worship, Bible study, prayer, and ministry
Relate - Build relationships with those who do not yet know God in a real and personal way so you may guide them to Jesus
Give - Be ready to join God in His work and let Him use your sacrifice to serve others and spread the gospel
Restore - Seek to restore broken relationships and strengthen healthy ones
Are you ready?
How will you make the most of the time God has given you?
How will you help others prepare for their appointment with God?
For future generations,