Thursday, September 1, 2016

Luke 21:10-13

Luke 21:10-13
Then he was saying to them, “Nation will be raised upon nation and a kingdom upon a kingdom.  And there will be great earthquakes and according to various places famines and diseases.  And there will also be fearful events – great signs from heaven.  And before all these things they will cast upon you all their hands and they will pursue you while handing over into the synagogues and prisons while being led away upon kings and governors on account of my name.  It will result for you all into testimony.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

As we heard yesterday, there will be wars and rumors of wars.  Nations will rise up against one another.  Creation will even begin to revolt as earthquakes happen.  There will be shortages of food.  There will be great signs in heaven – possibly things like meteor showers, meteor impacts, aurora borealis, and who knows what else.  In other words, there will be plenty of things to get our attention.  The trick is being willing to pay attention.

Are you paying attention to the world around you?  How easy is it to focus on your own life and not be concerned with the world around you? 

Second Thought:

What does Jesus tell us will be the true sign of the last days?  It isn’t wars or rumors of wars.  It isn’t even earthquakes and famine and disease.  It won’t even be great and incredible signs in the heavens.  All of these things tell us to pay attention, but they aren’t the end.  The end is when the world rejects His followers utterly and completely.  The end is a global persecution of His followers.  The end is when people who follow God are arrested, dragged in front of judges, and found guilty and sent to be punished because of their faith.  When that happens, we know that the time is near the end.

How does it make you feel to know that the end will be marked by rejection of the church?  Do you feel like you are ever truly living in persecution for your faith?

Third Thought:

What is the result of persecution?  Those who are truly in God will testify to His name.  The focus is upon God.  In the end, all things – even the persecution of His followers – will point back to God.  This is important for us to understand, because in this we truly find humbleness.  When we are willing to consider that the goal of all things is to point back to God our creator and Father, we can remain humble and focused on His will.

How ready are you to accept persecution and proclaim God’s glory in the process?  When are you likely to not accept persecution?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 21:14-19
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