There is nothing like an unexpected guest to get everyone cleaning up the mess.

One Saturday afternoon when Billy Graham was holding a crusade in Milwaukee we got a call from one of his staffers. “Would it be possible for Dr. Graham to retreat to your home for a few hours?” My mother said, “Of course. What day would he like to come?”

“How about in two hours?”… Panic! Mom hung up the phone and assembled all the children. We picked up and primed every inch of the home. She sent us upstairs to shower and dress “appropriately.”

When the great preacher arrived, we gathered in the living room where my mom sat next to him. A few minutes later the doorbell rang. My mom popped up to answer it—not realizing that her leg had fallen asleep. Her leg gave way right onto the lap of Billy Graham. In the frenzied preparation, this surprise guest literally had us “falling all over him.” It has become a family legend, but here’s the point: Be ready.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. (Matthew 24:42-44)

Jesus is coming back physically, and it could be really soon. How then should we live? In major frenzy to get our “house” cleaned up? If we aren’t careful, the ominous reality of the second coming of Christ could frighten us out of peace into a self-propelled panic.

So how then should we live? Paul puts it in full perspective:

May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

The truth is that Christ is already here, not physically, yet, but His Spirit lives in us. Being aware of that and living in Him is the secret to being ready for the day He comes back to rule and reign physically.

Jesus, thank You that, in You, I will be found blameless when You return. Give me a consistent perspective that looks to THAT day, more so than today. Amen.

Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.