Devotions For 2/28/16 Matthew Chapter 24- “Watchful & Working”
INTRO — Matthew 24 is the first half of the fifth and final discourse of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus lays out the signs of His coming Kingdom while making clear two things. 1. The coming is in the future and 2. That we cannot know the “day nor the hour.” His final exhortation of this chapter is be ready for the coming of the King and also sets up the parable to come in the beginning of chapter 25.
Monday- READ- Matthew 24:1–2
Both the disciples and the religious leaders had continually missed Jesus’ teaching that He, not the temple was now the focus of relationship between God and man. Where have you been focussed on “temples” in your life; other religious activities, events, or things- and lost sight of Jesus? How can you renew a right focus? (Ps.51:10)
Tuesday- READ- Matthew 3–6
The disciples were concerned about national pride (man’s kingdoms). The temple was destroyed by the Romans in AD70 in very much the manner Jesus describes (vs.2) but Jesus responds only to the 2nd question (vs.3): and gives several signs of the establishment of His future kingdom. How is Jesus’ Kingdom a priority in your life over- Your personal dreams? Your vocational goals? Your hopes for our country? Other?
Wednesday- READ- Matthew 24:7–14
Before Jesus ushers in His Kingdom there will be “birth pangs”. The imagery of birth is one of new life through pain. How is this Biblical theme (glory in shame, wisdom in folly, power in weakness, victory in defeat) completed in the coming of Jesus future Kingdom. How does this give hope to those suffering today around the world? Spend some time praying for those suffering for Jesus’ name today.
Thursday- READ- Matthew 24:15–25
Jesus warns of great persecution and attempts of “false Christ’s” to sway believers. The false messiah’s are contrasted with the glory and supremacy of Jesus’ coming . (See tomorrow’s devo) Our chapter for this week is building toward an action point- that we might be ready! How ready are you for Christ’s return? Do you dread it? or long for it?
Friday- READ- Matthew 24:26–31
Jesus will return, and that return will be swift (vs.27), obvious (vs.30), and in judgment (vs.28)- in contrast to the false messiahs from the previous passage. Jesus’ demands absolute supremacy and yet we often allow other things of far less significance to have places of prominence in our lives. How does today’s devotional thought help us to recalibrate the things in our life that have not only our interest, but our devotion? Worship?
Saturday- READ- Matthew 24:32–41
Jesus tells this parable referring to the signs of the times, then in vs.33 makes the statement that no one knows the day or hour- this parable (the fig tree) and the following three parables expand on and illustrate this verse. How do these verses foster diligence in our readiness for Jesus’s future rule and reign? How does it challenge us to live out His rule in our hearts?
Sunday- READ- Matthew 24:42–51
Jesus now tells two more parables (part of a set of seven spanning both chapters 24&25). This entire section (vs.32–51) is meant to spur the disciples (and us) on to watchful faithfulness to God’s Kingdom as we anticipate His coming. How can our worship and fellowship today at GBC both flow from these verses and galvanize deeper commitment to their application today?