Monday, September 22, 2008

Waiting patiently

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.
Scripture: Matthew 24:3b-6 (The Message) (The disciples speaking) “What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?” Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. … Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places. This is nothing compared to what is coming.”
Over the past two centuries, many people have tried to predict when Christ’s second coming will occur. Every single one of them has been wrong. A few have deceived people greatly by enticing them to sell all their worldly possessions and move to some isolated area to wait for the end times. Yet the Bible is quite clear that no one knows when Christ will return, except for the Father. Anyone claiming special knowledge is just blowing smoke and wasting people’s time, energy and resources.
Why do people think it is so important to make such predictions? Is it because they want the attention to themselves. Matthew says they “will deceive a lot of people.” “They will have forged identities.” Matthew also says that routine history is no way of foretelling the future. Wars, famines and earthquakes are everyday occurrences. Jesus warned the disciples not to panic; those things are nothing compared to what is coming when he returns.
So why do people panic? Perhaps it is because they don’t have assurances that they have a place in eternity. Or perhaps they have lost hope and cling to the notion of ending their time on earth for a better place, heaven. I know there have been times when I have said, “Lord, just end it all!” We feel weighed down during tough economic times or when relationships crumble. But, at least with me, reality hits and I don’t really want to go. I don’t believe my mission on earth is accomplished yet, so I continue to wait, sometimes patiently, while other times I am patient.
How do we become patient in waiting? It all comes down to trusting God with our lives, spiritually, emotionally, relationally and financially. We all have that hope that there are better times awaiting us in heaven, but do we have that same hope that life here on earth can be as it is in heaven? That is what the Lord’s prayer states: “On earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:7-13). We must cling to God’s promises in order not to be deceived by false prophets. As soon as we see someone spouting off about end times, we know he is clueless. Do not bother with his numerology or prophecy, because no one knows when He is coming again. So sit back and enjoy the wait.
How does this apply to my life?
Today’s prayer: Help me to have patience in waiting for your return, Lord. Help me to live in these times as salt in the world. Amen
Doug Mead
Parenting Solo
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 129
This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/