Today’s Bible readings are Numbers 8:1-9:23, Mark 13:14-37, Psalm 50:1-23, & Proverbs 10:29-30
32 “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. 33 And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert!
34 “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”
It has been said before, it will be said again; Jesus is coming SOON! No one knows the hour, no one knows the day, but Jesus is coming SOON!
There is a call going out to the church today that it is time to stay awake & alert. I remember I went on a camping trip with some Royal Rangers a year ago. We had a fire watch schedule so that our fir stayed burning throughout the night so we could stay warm. There was a certain point in the night that it became very hard for us to stay awake. It was late, quiet, & something in the air just called out for us to sleep. The group of boys who were supposed to be watching the fire fell asleep. I woke up in the early hours of the morning to coyotes howling & no fire.
This is similar to what can happen to us in our faith. Many times because we are tired from the labor of the day we can fall asleep. Maybe it is a quiet place in the night that doesn’t appear to be that dangerous. We lower our guard, we give in to the temptation to close our eyes, the next thing you know; we are sleeping.
There are some specific things that we can do to make sure that we stay awake. I want to share them with you.
1. Stay focused.
We can easily forget how important our task is. Much like the fire watch, we can begin to have an attitude that says, “It’s not that important.” This is a grave mistake. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. Jesus taught in His last days with the disciples the importance of alertness & watchfulness. Of all the things that He could have been sharing in those last days He felt prompted to talk about His return.
2. Never become weary in doing good.
9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Sometimes we get bored with prayer. Other times we get worn out in serving in the kingdom. We get tired of giving. These are all temptations that can come into our lives if we let them. These things lead to sleep. We must remind ourselves that we are soon going to reap a harvest for our labor. The key is to not give up. People who are alert are people who persist in these things.
3. Never stop telling the story of Jesus.
Nothing revitalizes & refreshes us more than telling the story of Jesus to the lost & hurting. It is like that morning cup of coffee. It may not be easy getting it brewed but one drink & instantly we begin to perk up. This is what happens when we keep the gospel of Jesus on our tongue. As we share His hope, love, & plan with others, we are refreshed.
As God uses us it also keeps in perspective the reality of His return. It is not just something to talk about; it is something to live for. Jesus will come. It is nearer now than it has ever been before. He is calling out to His church in these last days for us to open our eyes. Let’s take a new approach at this old truth. The alarm is going off. No more hitting the snooze button. It is time to wake up & let your light shine.