THE CLOCK IS TICKING
Lord, I cast all my cares on You, for I know You care about me (1 Peter 5:7).
Read Luke 21:29–38
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow can you live with an echo of joyful expectancy in your heart, knowing that Jesus might return at any time?
In Jerusalem the clock is ticking. There is a growing sense of urgency about all that Jesus is teaching his followers.
Don’t get so immersed in the everyday that you take your eyes off the big picture, he says (34). And it’s his word to us too. Be expectant. Don’t sleepwalk through life. Be sensitive to every sign of God at work in your life and the world around you. Do everything in the light of his promised and imminent return (36).
This isn’t easy. The busyness, relationships, and responsibilities of life can feel all-consuming. It takes imagination to see new leaves on the fig tree (29–31).
English Puritan church leader Richard Baxter (1615–1691) wrote this in his long work Saints’ Everlasting Rest (1650): “Keep me, while I remain on earth, in daily breathings after thee, and in a believing, affectionate walking with thee! And when thou comest, let me be found so doing; not serving my flesh, nor asleep with my lamp unfurnished; but waiting and longing for my Lord’s return!”
What signs are apparent in your life, in your church, in your community, in your nation, that might point to the kingdom of God being near? Does that make you want to live differently?
Jesus, teach me how to keep watch for Your return. May I be ever ready to meet You face to face.
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