Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:1-23, Matthew 24:1-25, Luke 21:5-24, Mark 13:24-31, Matthew 24:26-35, Luke 21:25:33
Heavenly Father, I’ve never been one to panic. I’m usually pretty level-headed in a crisis but we all have our areas of vulnerability and I have discovered that when one of my areas is touched I can move in to full-on panic mode.
Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
“When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. —Mark 13:5-11
Lord, these verses spoke volumes to me.
1. This life is not about my comfort. It’s about knowing You and causing others to know You.
2. I have to be alert. It’s easy to be deceived.
2. There is a purpose in EVERY trial.
3. There are opportunities in EVERY trial.
4. I do not have to worry. I do not have to panic. You have it all planned out, even down to the words I will say.
Jesus, You were talking to James, John and Andrew, three of your most committed disciples. Many of today’s Christians would never say to You, Tell us when this will happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled? (Mark 13:3-4) It’s too negative and depressing—after all, ignorance is bliss! As Dewey Moede said in his post, in today’s world “many think they are walking with God, but too many are not, they are dating God, not committed to God.”
Lord, dating You won’t get us through the tough times. It takes total commitment. It takes running to You instead of giving in to panic. It takes having Your plans and Your kingdom at the top of our priorities rather coming in last place behind earthly pleasures.
Jesus, the final thing these verses say to me is the trials I’m facing today are preparing me to stand strong in the days ahead. These trials are opportunities to strengthen my faith and tell the world about You.
Holy Spirit, help me not to waste these opportunities living in panic.
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37, Matthew 24:36-51, Luke 21:34-38, Matthew 25:1-46