Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, April 19, 2014


     It was Wednesday evening and the youth group was gathering for their weekly meeting in one of the classrooms at the church building, or at least they were suppose to be gathering. Start time for the youth group was 6:30 but it was now a quarter to seven and no-one had showed up. Wondering if she was waiting in the wrong room, Daisy Smith decided to go check the other classrooms.

     “Hello!” Daisy called out as she headed down the hall to the other rooms, “Is anybody there?” “In here!” came a reply from behind a closed door to one of the rooms. “Is that you Randy?” the voice called out again, “Come on in.” Opening the door to the room, she found Robert Grey and Bill Peterson playing a game of Foosball.

     “You're not Randy.” Robert said looking up from the game. “I sure hope not.” Daisy said, “I'm not ready to go bald yet.” As Daisy scanned the room she noticed that beside Bill and Robert at the foosball table, John McDonald, Timothy Harrison and Sergeant Halfway. “You're not having a board meeting tonight are you?” She asked.

     “No.” Robert said “We're just having a guys night out.” “Actually,” Bill piped in, “The bowling alley is closed due to some kind of flooding issue so we came over here.” “So,” John hollered out “Can we help you some how?” “You might be able to.” Daisy said, “I’m looking for all the kids for the youth group meeting.”

     “Which kids?” John asked. “ Barney, Stella, Mindy, Cindy, and so on.” Daisy said, “The meeting was suppose to start 15 minutes ago and nobody has showed up.” “What in the world is going on in Pupperville?” Timothy said looking up. “I’m almost afraid to ask what’s going to happen next.” Sergeant Halfway added.

     “Well,” Bill said, “I know for a fact the Stella left a half hour and said she was suppose to be picked up by Tracy to head to youth group.” “What?” John said, “Tracy said she was getting Mindy and Cindy. She left home an hour early and she didn't say anything about getting Stella.” “What about Louie?” Bill asked, “Didn't he come with you, Daisy?”

     “Now that you mention it...” Daisy said, “No, he didn't. He said he was going to meet up with Barney for some special project before coming here.” “Speaking of boys,” Timothy piped up, “My boys said they didn't feel well tonight and wanted to stay home but my wife paged me a little while ago and said they had left.”

     “This doesn't sound good.” Halfway said shaking his head. “I hope they're not up to some kind of trouble. I better go check in at the station and make sure.” I think we should all go do some checking.” John said. Everyone agreed and soon Daisy was left standing in a vacant room wondering where everybody was.

      Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said, "We have no portion in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; every man to his tents, O Israel!" So all the men of Israel withdrew from David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri. But the men of Judah followed their king steadfastly from the Jordan to Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 20:1-2 (ESV)

     Although David was a man after God's own heart and although he was a great king, he still had problems. One of those problems came in the form of a worthless man named Sheba but in taking care of him, another problem surfaced.

      Then the king said to Amasa, "Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and be here yourself." So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he delayed beyond the set time that had been appointed him. And David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord's servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us." And there went out after him Joab's men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men. They went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the great stone that is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a soldier's garment, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his thigh, and as he went forward it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, "Is it well with you, my brother?" And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. But Amasa did not observe the sword that was in Joab's hand. So Joab struck him with it in the stomach and spilled his entrails to the ground without striking a second blow, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. And one of Joab's young men took his stand by Amasa and said, "Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab." And Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the highway. And anyone who came by, seeing him, stopped. And when the man saw that all the people stopped, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field and threw a garment over him. When he was taken out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.
2 Samuel 20:4-13 (ESV)

     Why was it important for Amasa to act quickly? How often do we procrastinate, hesitate, put off what needs to be done now?
  • But Lot delayed. So the two men took the hands of Lot, his wife, and his two daughters and led them safely out of the city. So the LORD was merciful to Lot and his family. Genesis 19:16 (NCV) – Lot was almost wiped out because he couldn't let go and leave. Do we have things that hold us back.
  • So while the five foolish bridesmaids went to buy oil, the bridegroom came. The bridesmaids who were ready went in with the bridegroom to the wedding feast. Then the door was closed and locked. Matthew 25:10 (NCV) They were left behind because they were not ready are we like them?
  • Another man said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to my family.” Luke 9:61 (NCV) Don't you think God wants us to be punctual, ready now instead of later?
     Opportunities for us to act are all around us if we are ready, if we don't hesitate, if we make the most of them and we should for we read this in the Bible...
  • Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Ephesians 5:16 (NLT)
  • Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5 (NLT)
     Someday. Jesus is coming like a thief in the night. We need to be ready.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • What is it that keeps you from being ready, that would make you late when Jesus returns?
  • Are you ever late today serving God?

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