Friday, August 6, 2010

Will You Be Alert Today?

Mark 13:28-33 NLT 
  28 “Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that his return is very near, right at the door. 30 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.
  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!

Last time, we considered the verses just following this passage where Jesus illustrated is second-coming with a parable about the master going on a long trip. This passage today starts with a different story-- about a fig tree. This story makes the point that the season of the Lord's return will be evidenced by observable fruit-- conditions and events around the globe. There have been debates for centuries about which generation it was that "will not pass away before all these things take place." For sure we know that we have not missed His return. For sure we know that he is returning in His time. For sure we know what we are supposed to be doing-- his will-- while watching for his return. For sure we understand that the Lord has told us, through the disciples to whom he spoke then, to "Stay alert!."

The passage just prior to Mark 13:28-33 goes into great detail about the time and conditions of the days during which time he will return. We will discuss some of the early applications for those verses next time and also what we should make of them in 2010 and 2011. For now, lets focus on the "Stay Alert" part. How alert? What should we focus our alertness upon? Since we do not know the day or hour of Christ's return-- but we know He's coming, what implications are there for us if we are to be 'alert?' 

Today, you and I can be alert to loving those whom Jesus loves. We can be alert by putting Christ's standards for morality and social living into our daily practices. We can be alert by standing firm on those same standards even though the political leaders of our society want to trash them and the Lord who commanded them. We can be alert by sharing our faith, first by what we do for others selflessly and then by helping them to see they can have the joy we have.

Will you be alert today?

Your Servant in Christ's Love
Dan Elliott

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