Take Heart and be Ready!
Lord, help me to come to You and examine my priorities in the light of all You say about the future.
Read Luke 21:29–38
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“The end will come with the return of Jesus Christ… That is why the Christian can be an optimist. We know what the end will be; the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Billy Graham).
Jesus has given clear assurance that there is no way that believers will be ultimately damaged (18,19). He also promises that his words will be eternally remembered and are utterly reliable (33). Jesus uses a parable of the fig tree to encourage his followers to keep their eyes open for what God is doing (29–31), probably referring here to Jerusalem’s fall. Jesus’ concern is to give every possible encouragement to his people to persevere and not be complacent and fall into the dangers he mentions in verse 34. He wants both to inform his people realistically of what will happen and also to encourage faithfulness.
It is easy to allow this world’s difficulties to weigh us down. Jesus knows that the worries and anxieties of life can overtake us. The word for “anxieties” means literally to be pulled in different directions. This can happen in many situations, not least when life is really hard, but Jesus is saying that the key reason why our hearts should not be pulled around and away from him is the hope of our eventual redemption (36). This may give us a degree of detachment from the events of this life that often do weigh us down (Titus 2:11–14).
The Lord calls us to be always on the watch in waiting for his return (36), meaning that our waiting and attentiveness should be ongoing. The ultimate goal is to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 12:8–12). For some, his coming will be like a trap (34,35). For the prepared believer it should not be so unexpected, but there needs to be alertness, patience, prayer and witness as we await that day.
Don’t be deceived! Don’t be afraid! Don’t worry! How may these warnings of Jesus be a help and an encouragement as you live in the light of his return?
Lord, may the thought of Your return give me optimism in the face of the difficulties of life.
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