Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Matthew 25:1-30 "Waiting vs Watching"

Read Matthew 25:1-30.

"Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." NIV
Today I was reading the blog of a friend who is about to deliver her third baby any day now. She was talking about "waiting" and all waiting encompasses in our lives. Then I opened up my Bible and read this passage on looking for the return of Jesus. My first thought was, "Wow, we are waiting for Christ like Tammi is waiting for that baby." But of course while there are similarities, there are profound differences as well.

We are both waiting for an event of which no one knows the day or the time. It's a great mystery that lies only in the hands of God. And I'm glad we don't know. Life would be very boring without some mystery to it.

We both look forward to a delivery from difficulties with a huge reward at the end. Just as Tammi's body will be free from the burden she carries, we will be all free from the boundaries and burdens of this life. No more suffering, pain, or sorry. No more struggles. No more evil to contend with. And our reward will be to forever live in a Kingdom where the King shines so brightly He provides the very light we need. We will worship forever in His very presence and the enemy will be no more. Even as I write these words my heart is crying out, "Come, Lord Jesus, Come!" But again, we must wait.

But the stark difference between a waiting pregnant mother and the body of Believers waiting for Christ's return is this -- we must be active wait-ers. A mother makes some preparation for a newborn, but towards the end, her size encumbers her activity and she does a lot of resting getting ready for the rigors of labor and the first few months of sleepless nights. But as the time approaches for Christ's return, the Believer's body must become more active. Yes, we still must take our quiet times before the Almighty to hear His directions through His Word and Spirit, but we can't be sitting around looking to the clouds. There are so many more people to reach; so much more work to be done. And this is a mandate to all Believers, not just a chosen few. We all must be hard at word about the King's business. Time is running out and so many still don't know Jesus.

So instead of waiting, we will watch. "Waiting" implies quiet inactivity. While "watching" can be an inert activity like watching a ball game or a TV show, we can combine it with a physical action. Walk into any exercise club to see that. Watching is keeping an eye out while still working diligently. Keep one eye on the task and one eye on the sky. He's coming.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Read the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall in Jerusalem. While they worked, they kept a watch out for their enemy. And yes, we do need to keep a watch out for the Enemy, but we are also watching for Christ's return. I think of my daughter's fast pitch softball games. While they are running the bases, they need to be alert to where the ball is, but all the time they listen to and watch the third base coach for instructions. He has the complete picture and a clearer perspective of the situation. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will be able to work freely until He returns.
  2. Compare and contrast watching out for the Enemy and watching for Christ's return. Which do we do more of? How can we combine our watching to accomplish the same task? What does the Scripture say about this?
  3. In your life right now, do you have a good balance of waiting quietly before the Lord and working diligently for the cause of Jesus Christ? If not, what needs to change.

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