Today’s reading in Matthew 24 deals with the future, when Jesus will return to earth in a much different way than He came the first time. At the end of time, He will return in His rightful position as King and Savior, full of power and glory. Much has been written about these events, when they will happen, and in what order. But for our purpose in reading this today, I would like to focus on two words that Jesus uses that are a direct command to us: Keep watch.
What does it look like for us as Jesus’ church to “keep watch”? We have been looking and waiting for His return for thousands of years and yet we are called to keep watch as if He could come back at any moment. Jesus says that no one except the Father knows the exact day and hour when He will return and in a very real sense for us, that could be at any moment in time. Jesus does give us signs to look for that have been part of history for many, many years, giving credence to the thought that the stage is set for His return.
Verse 12 is the most haunting to me of this chapter: “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.” I see that all around me and battle against it myself. There are so many things to grab not only our attention but our hearts today. So, how do we keep watch and not let our love grow cold? Here are three things that I make a priority in my life to keep my eyes and heart watching and to keep my love and passion for Jesus growing:
Make spending time in God’s Word a priority every day. I have a morning routine that I don’t deviate from very often that includes reading, studying and praying. I need to reorient my heart every morning because left to my own devices, I will make a mess.
Pray diligently for my heart to break over the things that break His heart. I want His eyes to see people and circumstances the way He does because my own lens is distorted at best and completely self-focused at its worst.
Stay connected to His church and make being there a priority. I need the encouragement that I receive and that I can give to my brothers and sisters who are also trying to keep watch and keep our passion for Jesus growing. We were meant to live out our faith in community with others. Community is hard, messy work, but we need each other.
I am ready and longing for Jesus’ return more than ever. I want to be found faithful when He returns and that means that I have to work on my relationship with Him and my own spiritual growth every single day. I pray that you will give some thought today to this idea of keeping watch and evaluate how you are doing. Is it time to make some changes?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach