Reading: Luke 21:34-38
“Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet. And all the people would get up early in the morning to come to Him in the temple to listen to Him. [NASB1995®]
When we read these passages that announce times of distress and pain, it is natural for many people to experience fear.
Generally, when people think about the end times, they are afraid of the terrible things that could happen to them: Wars, famines, pests, and natural disasters.
But there is a greater risk; a danger that we should consider, which is the possibility of living as if that day were never to arrive; the possibility of coming to believe that the purpose of mankind is to enjoy the pleasures and dissolutions to which we are inclined by our nature.
The Lord gives us this warning: Be alert. It is very easy to be captivated by the illusions of this world. Doesn’t mankind run after vanity?
There are men and women who worship their own bodies and worship themselves and their physical beauty with gyms, diets and even surgeries; men and women who work and work unceasingly to accumulate wealth, even using illegitimate methods; men and women who in their quest for pleasure end up entangled in purely physical and self-serving sexual practices; and men and women who become slaves of drugs or alcohol.
These are very obvious examples of our sinful nature, but it is very easy for our hearts to be bound to this world. What do you want, what do you crave, where is your effort put? Do you strive to be more like Christ and to serve him every day, for the sake of his glory? Or do you exert yourself to be able to have the best car, the best vacation, the best position, or the recognition of others?
The greatest danger is not going through afflictions, but believing ourselves children of God until He comes and does not recognize us as His. The children of the Lord love God above all else.
MEDITATE: Examine your heart; don’t let it cling to what is transient and worthless. Let us watch, let us pray, let us ask the Lord for help so that we can stand before Him on that glorious day.
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader