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This quarter, we focus on Jesus as Soon-Coming King in our weekly devotional series. This week’s devotional comes from Luke 13 – 19.

My husband works for a propane company and will often have company representatives visit their site. Sometimes these are planned visits, and sometimes they are unexpected, surprise visits.

The purpose of the visits usually is to see how well the employees are aligned to the purposes and mission of the company. Are the employees representing the company well? Are they fulfilling company objectives? Do they reflect the image the CEO has set forth?

When the employees know about the visits in advance, they and their managers have time to make sure everything is in order. They review policies, correct operating procedures and work on general in-house clean up. 

But what happens when the company representative shows up unannounced? Does it cause panic and scrambling to quickly get things in place? Or is there a confidence knowing things are always being done according to company policy, because there is a “way of life” consistent with company expectations?

As I reflected on the theme of this week’s devotional, I thought of how Jesus addressed the Pharisees in Luke 17:20 – 37. His response to their question about when the kingdom of God would come reminded me of employees who want to know when they need to be prepared for a company visit. 

Jesus’ response in this passage gives us great insight in how to live prepared for a surprise visit from our King. He said, “The kingdom of God is within you” (v. 21). 

Jesus went on to say that there’s not going to be time to clear up unfinished business or to get things in order when He returns. We should already be living in such a way that the kingdom of God is expressed in and through our lives. 

In essence, Jesus was saying that we need to stop living as though we are employees in the kingdom, waiting for someone to come and check on us. Instead, we should live as kingdom representatives, reflecting the views and values of the kingdom and the image of its “CEO.”

Where have I slacked off waiting for Jesus’ return? Are there areas in my life that may be misrepresenting the kingdom? I don’t want to be caught off-guard when Jesus returns. I want to be sure that my life is aligned to the values of my King and the purposes of his kingdom.

By: Tamara Vrooman, assisting minister at Bedford Foursquare Church, Bedford, N.H.

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is a freelance writer living in Long Beach, Calif.