Watch & Pray
Daily Reading: Today’s bible reading is Luke 21. I encourage you to read it before reading this devotion.
Luke 21 can be a hard chapter to understand. I don’t claim to even begin to have an understanding of all the implications Jesus makes in this chapter, but three things are clear.
First, Jesus knew ahead of time that the temple would be destroyed. This happened in AD 70 just as he predicted. This gives us confidence that what the Lord says will come to pass.
Second, Jesus foretells his own glorious return: “And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk 21:27–28) I won’t get involved in debates about precisely when Jesus will return. But I do want to believe everything the Bible says about it, and I want to believe whole heartedly that it will happen. With that said, Jesus didn’t tell us to spend our time figuring out when he would come. Which brings us to the third thing we learn in Luke 21.
Finally, we are to watch and pray. Jesus gives these instructions for us as we look forward to his return:
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:34–36 ESV
Our great hope is not limited to this life. In fact, it is not even mostly in this life. Our great hope is an eternity with our King. So, in verse 34, Jesus tells us to watch our lives as we prepare for the King. It is interesting that Jesus first warns us not to be weighed down by dissipation (wastefulness through overindulgence) and drunkenness. These are sins any good baptist knows we are to avoid. Yet he also warns of being weighed down by “the cares of this life.” It is so easy to be carried away, not just by obvious sin, but by the subtle cares and concerns of daily life. Our hearts become so wrapped up in our daily worries that we forget our blessed hope.
How do we keep “the cares of this life” from taking over our hearts? We stay awake and pray. We stay alert to the reality of Jesus return. Then we pray. We ask for strength to make it through all that is between now the day we see him face to face.
Followers of Jesus, as you go through the events of today that may seem mundane or useless, remember that you are a chosen child of God who awaits the return of your King. We work, study, serve, rest, and play all to his glory. If he returns today, let’s be delighting in his Kingdom and busy with his work. If he returns many years from now, let’s be that much closer to him as we continue to walk out our faith day to day.
Grace & Peace.