Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Will Sing The Wondrous Story"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 24:36,42 – No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. (NIV)
There is a dog door into my front porch so that the dogs can come in to get out of the wet and cold. I also have a large, comfortable dog shelter on my front deck where they may take refuge in a storm.
Yet, when I am away for the day, and it has been raining all day, and it is still raining upon my arrival home, where are the dogs? In the porch? In the dog shelter? No, they are faithfully sitting out on the deck in the pouring rain, watching the gate for my arrival. When I leave, they have no idea when I will be back. Only I know that. But they believe that I will be back, and thus, they sit and wait. I know that they have been waiting unsheltered all day, for they are all soaked through to the skin and cold, even though they could have been warm and dry.
Such loyalty and faithfulness remind me of our need, as God's people, to be like my faithful bunch. Jesus is coming again. We know this for a fact, because the Bible tells us so, and the Scriptures have proved themselves true over and over again. Yet, how vigilant are we in regard to keeping watch faithfully for His return, through our prayers, our witness to those not yet saved, and the way that we conduct our daily lives? Are we willing to do the hard things — like sitting out in the rain, so to speak — in regard to perhaps being unpopular for our views? Or giving up some television time, some sleep, or time with friends to attend prayer meeting or to go away by ourselves to pray? How often is it just easier to go along with the way of the world than to do the right thing, the just thing, the thing that Jesus would do?
Can I honestly say that I am always faithfully and diligently watching? Can you? I know for myself that the answer is sometimes "no". I am guilty, like Jesus' disciples were in the Garden of Gethsemane, when His soul was overwhelmed with sorrow, even to the point of death, and He asked them to stay and keep watch with Him — only to find them sound asleep when He returned.
Like those first disciples, when you and I are not as vigilant and faithful as we should be, we need to make a point of remembering His next words to them:
Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. (NIV)
Prayer: Father God, thank You that we can know and count on the fact that Jesus is coming again. Though we do not know the day or the hour, continue to nudge us to be faithful in our vigilance, that we might not neglect our witness to the unsaved, our life of prayer, which has the power to move mountains, and our daily conduct, which should be such that others might be aware that we are faithful in our watch for the coming of our Lord. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.