Looking to the Future
Lord, I come to Your Word today with a trusting and believing heart and mind. Teach me Your truth , I pray.
Read MARK 13:14-31
 “When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong-let the reader understand-then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out.  Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.  How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  Pray that this will not take place in winter,  because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now-and never to be equaled again.  If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect-if that were possible.  So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.  “But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;  the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’  “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.  And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.  “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat warnings do you see here?
If disaster is on its way, we naturally want to know so that we can prepare for it. The same was true for the disciples when Jesus warned about the destruction of the temple (2-4). Quoting from Daniel 9:27 (14), Jesus warns of a godless ruler desecrating Jerusalem. In 70 A.D. the Roman army ravaged Palestine, destroyed the Temple and crushed the Jewish people, causing unspeakable misery. According to tradition, Christians in Jerusalem remembered Jesus’ warning (14-20,28,29) and escaped to Pella.
We don’t need to search high and low to find out what God’s future plans are. They are revealed in the Old Testament (see Isa. 10:13; 34:4; Ezek. 32:7,8; Dan. 7:13,14) and confirmed by Jesus (24-27,30,31). There will be a day of judgment before God’s king comes to establish God’s Kingdom. Once we know what lies ahead we can prepare for it. Are we making decisions and basing our lives on what God has said about the future, or are we listening to the “false” prophets of our day who present us with a different version of the future?
Second Peter 3:12 urges us to “look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” How will you do that today?
Lord, help me to trust Your good plans, whatever they are, and make decisions each day that reflect that trust.
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