Recognizing “The End”

Prayer: Gracious God, You are holy and awesome. You are worthy of all honor and glory and I am so happy to sing Your praises. Please receive my adoration and continue to swell my heart with love for You. Take this time of devotion and study, using it for your glory and for my blessing. Pour out insight and understanding through the power of Your Holy Spirit and draw me every closer to Your side. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Think about It: One of the things we know how to do best is to worry. Even people who tell you they never worry probably worry at least a little bit. And what do we  worry about the most? Certainly not the past, for it is gone. No, we worry about the future. Will I have enough money? Will I be healthy? Will my spouse still love me and stay with me? Will I have enough to eat or a place to live? The worries we can come up with are as numerous as leaves on a tree. But the Lord is very clear about worry – we’re not to do it!
     That doesn’t mean we are not aware of what’s going on around us. Jesus spends very valuable time during his last week of life here on earth teaching His disciples about what to be aware of as He has to leave them. While we are not to worry about the future, we are to pay attention to the signs that declare that He will be returning. And for those of us who love Him and believe in His salvation work, these signs are a promise to us that indeed He will be returning to take us with Him into eternity. So while others are worried about the future and what the signs are telling them, we are a people who can take hope from every single sign we see that God is in perfect control and will fulfill all of His promises to us, including the promise to come back and get us.

While the passage for today is fairly long, it contains a few verses that are just golden. There is one phrase in verse 14 that just reaches out and grabs the reader: “But make up your mind not to worry . . .” It goes on to say not to worry about what you will say to defend your beliefs in the Lord. But even just that phrase – make up your mind not to worry. That is priceless. Louis Pasteur (in referring to scientific study) once said “ . . . chance favors only the prepared mind.” While I’m sure that is a valuable truth when it comes to science, it is certainly true about the faith, and Jesus back that up during His discourse on the end times with His disciples. Make up your mind not to worry. How would that decision each day change the way you went about your daily tasks? Imagine life directed by God rather than motivated by worry about what’s coming around the bend. It might just revolutionize the way you operate and the joy you get out of life. But as you can see, it is a conscience decision. Jesus says to “make up your mind” – in advance. That is fabulous counsel on how to live. While focusing your existence on how it will all end is a really bad idea, Jesus does tell us to be   watching the signs around us, for that prove He will return. Being wise and watchful is wildly different from being worried about it. We can rely on Him utterly and confidently at all times, for He always fulfills His promises, all we need do is watch for His return while going about those things He sets before us.

Prayer: Father God, I know that You have a perfect plan for my life, both here on earth and in eternity with You. Please help me to trust in you moment by moment,  remembering that nothing has slipped out of your control. Fill me with resolve to live as consistently as I possibly can, empowered by Your Spirit to walk with You each day without fear or worry about what will come. May I trust in You completely for each “next moment.” In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.