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Yarber: The value of pre-need planning

January 31, 2013

Are you a planner? Remember how people prepared for Y2K, the beginning of the millennium year 2000. Computers had been representing the year with only two digits instead of four digits which could cause the computer systems to interpret 00 as 1900 instead of 2000. This would mess up all major industries including utilities, banking, manufacturing, telecom, and airlines. While companies spent billions of dollars preparing their systems, some people built shelters and others stocked imperishable food items, plus batteries and oil for lamps, and other things considered essential for survival.
Pre-planning is scriptural. Jesus said, in Luke 14, that a man would not start to build a house without first calculating the cost to see if he had enough money to finish it. Proverbs 6:6 tells us to consider the ways of an ant that “provides her supplies in the summer and gathers her food in the harvest” to have them for the winter months. We, likewise, grow fruits and vegetables in the summer and then freeze or can them for later when fresh ones are no longer available.
We plan for our children’s college education while they are still in elementary school. We prepare for our retirement while we are still working. We are often encouraged to pre-plan our funeral, making the arrangements ourselves before the need arises. All of these are good ideas. But the most important pre-planning is illustrated for us by Jesus. In Matthew 25, He told the parable of the ten virgins or bridesmaids who waited with the bride for the groom to come. In biblical Jewish culture, the bride did not know when the groom would arrive – nor did he know. Only his father knew, so the bride had to always be in a state of readiness. The groom could not come for his bride until he had prepared a place for her – often, a room that adjoined his parents’ home. But it could not be just a hastily prepared “lean-to” thrown together by a young man impatient to claim his bride. His father had to inspect it to make sure it was worthy of his bride. Because of the uncertainty of the time of the groom’s coming, five of the bridesmaids ran out of oil in their lamps and had to go to purchase more. “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.” When the other five arrived, they were not allowed inside. Jesus says to us in verse 13, “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of My return.”
Pre-plan your eternal future now! Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. Be prepared!

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