It is not often that I go shopping for groceries, but it does happen. My wife will talk through all the items I need to remember to get, and then she will ask me to repeat back the things I need to get. Married men know exactly what happens next: Before I walk out the door, she will write it out for me, because she knows I will forget at least 50% of the list by the time I start the car. I’m grateful for a savior that understood this about me. While the Jewish culture of 2,000 years ago was built around memorization, the Spirit made sure to have the words of Jesus written down for you and me today, living in a culture of forgetfulness.

            Mark records that as Jesus neared His ultimate sacrifice for us, the disciples asked about the time of tribulation He kept mentioning. Jesus shared about the signs of the times, but never a specific date, stating that “only the Father” knows that detail. Instead, He warned them four times in Mark13:33-37 to “watch” or “be alert”. The Greek word for this means to stay awake, active, and vigilant. The last thing a doorkeeper would want is to be found by his returning master, not doing what he was assigned to do. This is the same idea Jesus conveyed to His disciples. While you wait, keep doing what I have put you here to do. Why? Because, once that day comes, there is no more time to be about the work of the kingdom.

            I love that we have this reminder written multiple times by the different Gospel writers, so that we will not forget. It is easy to get distracted by temporal goals, or lulled into inaction by a life of ease. It is just as easy to become overwhelmed and cowed by troubling times. But take these words to heart: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (vv:31) Don’t lose heart, don’t get distracted, and stay on task. He is coming again, and soon. What will He find you doing? Let’s be building His kingdom together.

by Ben Urban, Pastor of Student Ministries

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