Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 8 of “Fan or Follower – Keep Watch!” (LISTEN HERE).
“Watch out!” is a dire and impending warning that something dangerous is about to happen unless I change course very quickly.
“Keep watch!” is a indefinite indication that something is going to happen at some point and when it does happen I want to and/or need to be ready.
Sometimes “Watch out!” is easier because in a short period of time, one identifies the danger, avoids it and moves on.
Keeping watch can be long, tiresome, and bring inevitable thoughts of, “I don’t think this will ever happen,” and lead to apathy, indifference and doubt that keeping watch is even worth it.
Yet Jesus says, “Keep watch!”
Matthew 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.
When Jesus left this earth, he promised he would come back. The challenge? He didn’t give us a specific time or day, just a promise.
So, the challenge for us is this. Will we live today and every day with the awareness that today Jesus could return? Or will we slip to a thought that “It won’t happen in my lifetime” and become complacent and indifferent to the idea that he is coming back?
Perhaps it depends on the day.
It is certainly easy to get busy with each day’s activities without giving a thought that Jesus could return today. Jesus acknowledges this as he teaches:
Matthew 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
The flood caught people off guard. Jesus said some knew nothing about the flood coming until the water swept them away. (There were 100 years for the word to get out about an impending flood…did they never hear or choose not to recognize the warning?) The point? People will be going about life without any awareness of Christ’s coming. Some will be ready. Some won’t.
Is Jesus advocating for “Stop life and wait for me to come!” No. The reality is life and its events will continue. However, Jesus doesn’t want us to live in ignorance or apathy of his return.
If you are reading this devotion, you are no longer ignorant. Jesus will return to this earth to judge the living and the dead and bring all believers, body and soul, to be with him.
If you are reading this devotion, you will be tempted to apathy. Like a teenager who throws a party in his parents home with the expectation they won’t be home for a long time, we can engage in life without any thought of our Savior’s coming or the life to which our Savior calls us. With apathy, we allow our sinful nature to run amuck figuring, “Jesus won’t be coming for a long time.”
But then the parents come home. Then Jesus comes.
We don’t want to be caught unprepared.
So Jesus encourages us, “Keep watch!”
Peter encourages us, “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray” (1 Peter 4:7).
How are we to be ready? The devotions, I pray, this week will help!
Apply: Are you ready? Or does this devotion find a bit of apathy? Repent of apathy. Get ready!
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for your promise to return. Send us your Spirit so that at all times in all places, even as we go through the activities of life, we live in the anticipation of your return. AMEN.