July 8, 2020
This morning as I read from Luke 21, the words of Jesus to His disciples regarding the end time events seemed to come alive! Jesus' words seem to read like a current events news report! But how could these men and women possibly have comprehended what our culture would look like during this season? It would have been impossible; no wonder they were so often baffled by what He said!
Imagine the world as it was only 200 years ago, and a new understanding begins to emerge. Imagine (or remember, as the case may be) a world with no cell phones, no computers, no cars or trucks, no trains, no airplanes, primitive medical options, no indoor plumbing, no electricity.....the list goes on. Then move that back 2,000 years and imagine what they were thinking as He spoke to them of the things to come. My preschool children asked me one time if I used a blow dryer and a curling iron when I was young. My response was, "No, we had bobby pins and brush rollers." Then, to my chagrin, they proceeded to ask me if I had voted for Abraham Lincoln to be President! My response was, "No, but Grandma probably did!" Truly we're living in the days predicted in the book of Daniel when "knowledge and travel will be greatly increased."
In this particular passage, the disciples are awed by the beauty of the temple in Jerusalem. As they look around with wide eyes and gaping mouths, Jesus makes a strange comment about its coming destruction! Of course, they immediately turn their attention, and begin to question him about future events and times. He begins a discourse on the end times events, and what our responses should be.
As we look around us, we see a culture on the verge of panic. Even Believers are anxious and concerned about what to do, where to look for help, and how to respond to a variety of crises. Confusion and Deception are everywhere. Sometimes I wonder if God looks at us and wants to shout, "Have I not told you?" In this conversation, Jesus tells us exactly what will happen and how we should respond to it!
1.) Don't panic or give in to fear!2.) Don't be fooled by imposters who say they are the Messiah.3.) Don't prepare a defense when you are brought before governmental officials.4.) Speak a word of wisdom that Jesus will give in that moment.5.) Expect betrayal.6.) Stand firm with patient endurance.7.) Don't allow your heart to grow cold.8.) Remain passionate and free from anxiety.9.) Keep a constant watch over your soul. (Mind, will, emotions).10.) Pray for courage and grace to prevail over all things that are destined to occur.
Now, granted, this is easier said than done! Nevertheless, God has been very specific in giving us a roadmap of what to expect as we approach the end of the present age. I submit to you that in order to find the path ahead, we need to be reading the map!
In John 14, Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid." This is a command for us. When things appear to be chaotic around us, we need to take charge of our "souls" -- our mind, will, and emotions. He doesn't command something that is impossible for us to obey. It's our choice to walk in fear, or to trust Him with the future and walk in peace.
Make the choice today to stay grounded in the Word, and to let Him walk you through the days ahead, living in peace and confidence in the middle of the turmoil all around us.