[Jesus said] Watch! Be alert and pray, because you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going away on a journey. When he left his home, he put his servants in charge and assigned what each one was to do. He also commanded the doorkeeper to keep watch. Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know when the owner of the house is coming: whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or early in the morning. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: Keep watch!”
Dear Lord Jesus,
You give us this warning as a reminder to examine ourselves. We can have head knowledge to know you, knowing that you have forgiven all our sins. But if we cling to some sin and say, “I must do this out of life’s necessity,” or if we gravitate toward some sin, saying, “I am sorry,” but then turn back to that sin in the next moment. We are lacking in heart knowledge, and we are in trouble. So you tell us: Keep watch!
Lord, you want us to have hearts of repentance. That is not just saying the children’s “I am sorry” to meet our parents’ requirements so we can get back to playing. It is a change of heart and turning away from those sins we entrench ourselves in, rather than trusting in you for all we need over our situation. Realizing when it is only lip service, those sins remain stuck to us. How dare we treat your love like cheap grace, “I can do whatever I want because Jesus has forgiven me.” Throughout the Psalms, you said you desire the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart. A heart that recognizes our sins and turns back to you to receive free and total forgiveness. Here Mark records your words and the necessity to turn quickly. We never know when our time of grace will come to an end, but should it occur with these sins still bound to us, we will perish in hell forever.
Lord, please give us all the urgency to look at our lives; let no sin be lurking in the corner. Let us examine ourselves and lay all our sins at the cross. Please send us your Holy Spirit so our hearts will be changed, we can once again receive the complete forgiveness of all our sins. You died and rose for us to have eternal life, strengthen our faith that we see the precious gift you have bought for us with your blood, let us never take that gift for granted. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
Treat every moment as God’s gift. How do you take a present? Do you yank it out of their hands and slap their face, or receive it with respect and gratitude?