August 31

Text: Matthew 25:13

"Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”  (NASB)

Jesus’ directive regarding the end of time and judgment was: Be alert!  To be alert, a person must know what to expect and must be prepared.  Accepting that directive is extremely difficult and following it is extremely difficult.  Such a simple, small word calls us to such enormous responsibility!

To grant us a perspective of the challenge involved, Jesus told the 12 to be alert, and it has been 2000 years since he spoke those words!  Our alertness now is no less important than their alertness then.  While several indications declare the first Christians expected time to end soon, most Christians of today do not.  Most of us are more likely to think of our death than time ending.  Our death means physical time has ended for us, but not for everyone.  Most of us expect to die before time ends for everyone.  If time was to end for everyone before we died, most of us would be shocked.

If we were told of a credible possible danger, most of us would find alertness simple.  If we saw a threat on the horizon, alertness would become necessary.  If a major danger lurked nearby, the urgency of the possible would demand vigilance—in those circumstances a failure to be alert would be irresponsible.   However, to be alert for an event that has not happened for 2000 years is difficult!

How can I be alert right now?  (1) I can remember it can happen—because it has not happened does not mean it will not happen.  (2) I can base my behavior on the character of God instead of my society’s norms.  (3) I can live for God’s purposes and refuse to adopt this world’s concept of success.  (4) I can understand that life goes from life to life, not life to death.  (5) I can understand that life itself is an investment.  (6) I can understand there is a better existence than “the here and now”—existence “today” is not the “all” of life!

To you, what is life about?

Suggestion for reflection: How do I look at my life?  (Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell