Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Staying Alert—The Signs of His Coming
On September 23rd, Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency due to the active hurricane Ian. Although the West Coast [Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg] will suffer a direct impact, the land-falling hurricane is expected to impact 67 counties with damaging winds, torrential downpours, and flooding.
Florida residents including myself realize that preparation for safety and meeting our basic needs are of vital importance. If necessary, we intend to evacuate our homes to stay out of harm’s way. If a person does not prepare for the pending storms they are warned about, then they will not anticipate and have an emergency preparedness for unexpected storms.
We acknowledge that our world is in a spiritual state of emergency. Even so, many believers are apathetic toward the Second Coming of Jesus.
“Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Jesus privately, saying ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” Matthew 24:3
“All of these are the beginnings of sorrows.” Matthew 24:8
1. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” (Matthew 24:6-7, first part). The war between Russia and Ukraine appears to be a senseless act of oppression against those who desire freedom. And China has vowed aggression against Taiwan. Regardless of the delay, President Biden has promised Taiwan that the United States will fight their battle if China wages war against them.
2. “And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7, last part). “Today, the world stands on the brink of unprecedented famines. About 30 million people are experiencing alarming hunger, severe levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in north-eastern Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.” https://www.oxfam.org/ Do we need to mention the never-ending pestilence of COVID-19 that has claimed six million lives? While we eagerly welcome the cooler fall season, we will also face a new COVID variant.
Trending now: Politicians, entertainers, and self-appointed prophets who are comparing themselves to Jesus Christ. Yet, the greatest deception will be Satan’s Impersonation of Jesus’ Second Coming. Without biblical knowledge, many will be deceived by the rumor of Jesus’ appearance on a mountain or in a certain country.
1. “And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” Matthew 24:4-5.
2. “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:26).
Time is not on our side. Satan desires for us to think that we have ample time to prepare for the future. The busyness of our daily schedules along with pursuing our heart’s desires leaves little to no time to worship. Without intentional obedience to God’s will, we lose sight of the importance of studying the Scriptures and having a consistent life of prayer. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us discernment of the truth when worshiping our Heavenly Father.
The last days are upon us! Changing our mindset to live comfortably [as if Jesus is coming much later] has placed many in a state of spiritual slumber. Preparing for Jesus is a daily commitment. Truthfully, how often do you think of living eternally in the New Heaven and New Earth? When we surrender our hearts to Jesus, we possess the spiritual mindset of a sojourner [traveler] who is just passing through.
Live daily with the expectation that Jesus will fulfill His promise in John 14:1-3. Stay awake and stay alert!
Prayer: God, in our busyness, we have lost sight of Jesus’ promise to come again. We surrender and recommit our lives to You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.