Sunday, September 4, 2016

Luke 21:25-28

Luke 21:25-28
And there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.  And upon the earth will be a distress of the nations in uncertainty of the noise and violent tossing of the sea, while men faint from fear and anticipation of the things that come upon the world – for the power of the heavens will be agitated.  And then they will see the Son of Man while coming in a cloud with much power and glory.  And be optimistic and lift up your heads while these things begin to become, because your deliverance approaches.  And he said a parable to them, “See the fig tree and all the trees.  Whenever they should put forth sprouts now, while seeing you all know from them that the summer is now near.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Fear.  Panic.  Distress.  Uncertainty.  Unknown.  These will be the emotions of the world before the coming of the Son of Man.  The heavens will be agitated.  The seas will be violent and unpredictable.  Creation will seem to be working against humanity.  As a result, human beings will be fearful and unsure how to handle the greatness of nature.  This is a fairly neat point.  Human beings like to think of ourselves as the masters of our own destiny.  We like to think of ourselves as all powerful.  But the reality is that we are only powerful when creation behaves.  Should a super-volcano erupt, massive amounts of humanity would die and we would be impotent against it.  Should a major meteor impact the earth, we would be powerless to stave off the cataclysmic results.  Should a pulsar from far off galaxy emit a gamma ray burst directly into our atmosphere, we couldn’t stop the immediate consumption of our atmosphere that would occur.  The truth is that we think that we are almighty.  But when nature and the heavens demonstrate their power, we are ultimately helpless against them.

Do you like to see yourself as powerful?  How can thoughts like this help us remember that ours is a position of humility rather than pride?

Second Thought:

Once humanity is proved powerless, we will see the coming of the Son of Man in power and glory.  We will be humbled by the chaos of the universe around us.  In that moment, Jesus will appear and demonstrate His power over the very thing that held us powerless.  The truth will be clear.  With respect to God, what little power we may actually possess is meaningless and rather insignificant.

Why do you think that God will reserve His grandest display of his power for the end?  How does it make you feel too realize that in our greatest moment of weakness God will come in power?

Third Thought:

Jesus gives us a very special message at this point.  Notice that He tells His disciples to be optimistic.  He doesn’t tell them to fear.  He doesn’t tell them to panic.  The world will fear.  The world will panic.  But when we see the Son of God, we have nothing to fear.  We who walk humbly before our God will continue to be humble in His appearance.  We already acknowledge that we are only saved through His power and grace.  Why do we need to be anything other than optimistic when we who rely upon the power of God see His power?

Do you think that you will be able to keep your wits about you should you live in the time of Jesus’ return?  What will help you stay optimistically focused on God in such a time?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 21:29-33
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