Jun
16

Opening Day by Randy Rowley 6/15/12 ©

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Texas is a rare state because we’re blessed with, among other things, hunting year-round.  Dove season starts each September the 1st, followed briefly by a two-week-long teal season.  In late September or early October, hunters can begin to chase deer with sticks and strings.  Quail season starts up in late October.  Turkeys, duck, and geese join the hunting menu in early November.  In addition, hunters can finally hunt deer with guns.  Spring turkey hunting starts in March.  Hunters can hunt rabbits, squirrels (for most of the state), and non-game animals such as hogs and exotics year-round.

But hunting usually is impractical during the summer due to the heat.  Meat spoils quickly in the Texas sun, and it’s just not much fun roasting in a deer stand or stalking through the woods in the hotter months.  So after spring turkey season, hunters usually have a four-month wait before they can once again answer the call of the wild.  This four-month hiatus can only partially be assuaged by hunting and gathering trips to Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, and similar establishments, fishing trips, shooting clays shoots, etc.

As each opening day gets closer, we become more and more excited.  We begin to relive successful trips in our minds, daydream about upcoming trips, and track game whenever we see it with imaginary shotguns or rifles.  We promise ourselves nothing will keep us from hunting on Opening Day.

We think an Opening Day will never get here, but it finally does.  Most of us get little sleep the night before.  Our thoughts are dominated by what could happen the next day.  Possibilities and strategies blot out any thoughts of problems.  We examine our equipment, making sure it’s clean and ready.  For dove season, we take our turkey chokes out of our shotguns and put improved cylinder chokes in their place.  We also put our plugs back in.  We go through our trip planning list and double-check it for good measure.  Our preparations keep us busy as the clock slowly moves ahead.

Opening Days are almost as important to many hunters as major events such as weddings, births, graduations, etc.  Each Opening Day is filled with possibilities.  I hope your opening days are as special to you as mine are to me!

The Bible tells us of a fantastic day – the day Jesus Christ returns to the earth.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 says, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

Jesus’s second coming to earth is quickly approaching.  We are closer to it today than we were yesterday.  It will be a day of wonderment for some, bitter tears for many, and bafflement for others.  It will be the opening chapter of extraordinary times on the earth, and people will see things no one has seen before.

Christians should look forward to Jesus’s second coming to earth with more anticipation than hunters do for any hunting season opening day.  We should live expecting his impending return and be excited about it.  2 Peter 3:14 (NLT) says, “And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.”

Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord?  Are you living for him and ready for his return?  If you don’t know him, I encourage you in prayer (talking to God) to repent (turn from the direction you were heading and turn to God), confess your sins to God, receive (accept) Jesus as your Savior by asking him to forgive you, and ask him to be your Lord.

If you’re already a Christian but aren’t living for Jesus and need a renewal, you can be renewed by repenting and offering all of yourself to God, not giving in to temptation, and frequently renewing your mind through Bible study, prayer (including confession), and fellowship with other believers.

The day of Jesus’s return is near.  Just as hunters get ready for their opening days, it’s time for Christians to get ready for Jesus’s return!

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

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