Tuesday, January 26, 2010

“Stay at your post, watching!”


Mark 13:34-37 It's like a man who takes a trip, leaving home and putting his servants in charge, each assigned a task, and commanding the gatekeeper to stand watch. (35) So, stay at your post, watching. You have no idea when the homeowner is returning, whether evening, midnight, cockcrow, or morning. (36) You don't want him showing up unannounced, with you asleep on the job. (37) I say it to you, and I'm saying it to all: Stay at your post. Keep watch."


Months of planning go into a wedding, the birth of a baby, a career change, a speaking engagement, the purchase of a home. Do you place the same importance on preparing for Christ's return, the most important event in your life? Its results will last for eternity. You dare not postpone your preparations because you do not know when his return will occur. The way to prepare is to study God's Word and live by its instructions each day. Only then will you be ready.

In expectation of His "take heed" answer to the disciples' inquiry about the time and the signs for the destruction of the temple, Jesus answers by two parables. One is the Parable of the Fig Tree, which He uses to seal the prophetic signs that He has given. No training in horticulture is needed to know that the leafy, tender branches of the fig tree forecast the coming of summer. In the same manner, anyone can see the signs that Jesus has given and know that the Son of Man is coming, but not until all of the signs are fulfilled, like the ripening of the fig tree.

No one can watch a fig tree grow, but never let the process be mistaken for the lack of fulfillment. As surely as the maturing of the fig tree predicts summer, most surely will the signs of Jesus' prediction bring His coming.

Secondly, Jesus talks about "Gatekeepers" . This term has become popular for persons in key positions of leadership in organizations and communities. As the symbol suggests, there are persons who are on constant watch to protect social values that are entrusted to them. Sometimes this " is a formal authority and sometimes it is a person who wields quiet, but powerful, influence. Nothing significant happens, however, without the approval of the "gatekeepers."

To be a "doorkeeper" or a "gatekeeper," on diligent watch for the coming of the Son of Man, is one of the most solemn duties in the kingdom of God. Someone has to keep watch so that others can do their work. Executives in leadership roles carry this responsibility-reading the signs, interpreting the meaning, putting out warnings, setting the direction, and announcing the coming of the Master. What an awesome privilege! Jesus charges the disciples with the duty of "doorkeeping," making them responsible for the household of faith. If they fall asleep so that the household misses His coming, God will hold them responsible.


Mark 13 tells us how to live while we wait for Christ's return: (1) We are not to be misled by confusing claims or speculative interpretations of what will happen (Mark 13:5-6). (2) We should not be afraid to tell people about Christ, despite what they might say or do to us (Mark 13:9-11). (3) We must stand firm by faith and not be surprised by persecution (Mark 13:13). (4) We must be morally alert, obedient to the commands for living found in God's Word. This chapter was not given to promote discussions on prophetic timetables but to stimulate right living for God in a world where he is largely ignored.

We must remain faithful by staying at our post and watching. It is very easy to become distracted, and focused on the things around us that have no eternal value. It is easy to leave the "post" unattended, and no longer "watch". But my friend, when that happens, this will effect much more than just you. Countless souls are in the balance...Jesus is truly about to come back for His church. We must be busy about our Father's business. Let's determine to "Stay at the post...and watch!"


"Lord, forgive me for the times that I have left the post unattended, and not lived with eternity in mind. It is so easy for me to get lost in my own world and forget that this world is not all about ME. There are folks all around me who have their eternal destination in the balance, waiting on someone or something to "tilt" the balance towards Christ. May I TODAY be the one you use to help do that. In Jesus name, amen!"