25"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." 29He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32"I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 34"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
- Jesus recites a list of persecutions and disasters that are to come. Then he said, “stand up and lift up your heads (ie. don’t be frightened)” because this means that Messiah is coming back soon. He will rule the earth with righteousness and peace.
- Jesus told his disciples to be alert to wait for His coming back. Though it’s been 2,000 years, it’s still true, He is coming soon. We need to be prepared to welcome Him, to accomplish His commands faithfully and not get lost in drinking, eating and entertainment. Nor should we be crushed under the heavy weight of worries for our lives.
- What do the numerous disasters in recent years have to do with Jesus’ words in this passage? Are you waiting for Christ’s return with hope and anticipation? Or are you afraid of what’s happening in the world? If you truly believe that Christ is coming back soon, what does this fact change your daily life? “God, please help me to be alert in preparation for your return.”
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: Name some of the big happenings in the world in the past year. (tsunami, earthquake, war, famine, etc.) What does Jesus tell his disciples what would happen when he comes back again? What do you think of Jesus’ coming? Is there anything you want to do so that you may be prepared for Jesus? (Parents, be sensitive to your children’s reaction. In needed, talk to them individually and lead them in salvation prayer if appropriate.)
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:27-31
27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.