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Missing the Boat
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For those of us who are looking forward to meeting Jesus when he comes again, one of the things that is on our minds is the hope that our family members will be together on that day and that no one would miss out on that most spectacular event. The old song Will the Circle Be Unbroken? illustrates this longing. Just think about it. Think how wonderful family reunions are when grandparents, cousins, and siblings gather to share memories and create new ones.

Family is a golden circle. Sometimes that circle is broken by earthly circumstances, but when we think of the heavenly family, we are encouraged that that circle can not only be mended, but be unbroken for all eternity.

Recently, my sister's family had an experience of “missing the boat.” Literally. She and her husband were planning to take a cruise with their son and his family. The boat was launching from New Orleans, and while some of the family were prepared to allow extra hours to get through the Marty Gras celebration taking place at that time, the rest of the family was not. Instead, they had to fight their way through all the parades just in time to watch the ship sail away. What a heartbreaking disappointment! They had missed the boat, and there was nothing they could do to bring it back. This story ended up in their Christmas letters as a fitting illustration of how heartbreaking it would be to miss eternity.

Know Jesus

How can we be sure that we will be ready for take-off when Jesus comes? Well, many may say that the way to prepare is to make sure we are doing things right and saying all the right words and following all the rules. But as the late Pastor Morris Venden explained, “When Jesus comes, there will be two groups of people: those who know Jesus and those who don't.”

Of course, doing good things is all part of knowing Jesus and in following in His footsteps, but it's not the defining characteristic of the saved. The ones who are ready are the ones who have an ongoing, growing relationship with Jesus. These are the ones Jesus recognizes as His own. Those who will say, “Hey, look at all the things we did for you! Doesn't that count for anything?” will sadly hear Jesus reply, “I don't know you.”
If we want to make sure we don't “miss the boat” when Jesus returns, we must be sure that no matter how fast we can race, or how well we can preach, or how many offices we hold in church, if we don't know Jesus personally, we will be bitterly disappointed.

As we think of family and having the circle unbroken, we should ever be encouraging each other to daily surrender to Jesus and trust Him to guide our lives. The ride may be rough at times, but the destination is out of this world!

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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