He told them a story. “Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God’s kingdom is about here. Don’t brush this off: I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.
“But be on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that’s coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man.”
He spent his days in the Temple teaching, but his nights out on the mountain called Olives. All the people were up at the crack of dawn to come to the Temple and listen to him. (Luke 21: 29-38 MSG)
This is a season of expectations. What are your expectations for the last few weeks of this year?
- What is your fondest hope for these same weeks?
- What is Jesus on about here with the fig tree? He has recently wept over the city for its lack of response. What is happening here?
- Jesus wants us to have sharp expectations. What about?
- Remembering as much as you can of his life;
- What is Jesus’ attitude to parties?
- What does he think about drinking?
- What does he think about shopping?
What little disciplines or changes in behavior can we implement to sharpen our expectations of Jesus’ presence in this next few weeks?
A Prayer for Tonight
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT)