I can always tell how I resonate with a chapter of Scripture based on how much I underline and highlight it in my Bible. Let’s just say, this particular chapter is looking neglected. Matthew 24 should technically be one of my favorites because it talks all about the future, and I tend to be the kind of gal that things long term.
But the problem is this chapter isn’t about giving us a long-term plan but rather a sobering perspective about the journey to eternity.
Jesus begins His teaching in this chapter with a reminder of the tension we’re living in as we await for His return. He warns us against being deceived by false prophets (Matthew 24:5-6). He tells us we’re going to face wars and threats of wars, and that we shouldn’t panic (Matthew 24:8). Umm, really? He reminds us we’ll be experiencing life as though we were enduring birth pains — and this is only the precursor of what is to come (Matthew 24:8).
So, yeah. Not a fan of the promise of pain. Also not a fan of the promise that we’ll be hated all over the world because we are followers of Christ (Matthew 24:9). Nor do I welcome the reality that sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
In the middle of a promised mess, we can find more than a shred of hope.
Ready for it? Jesus says, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:13-14).
Sister, it’s time for a perspective shift. It’s not about the right here and now. It never has been and it never will be. While we’re tempted to live for our comforts in pursuit of earthly security, Jesus is urging us to let go of the present and think of the bigger Kingdom impact we have the opportunity to be a part of.
So what if we lived believing that life on this earth will always be hard instead of constantly seeking for the easy road? Would that prevent us from erecting false gods — the very gods that become the source of our addictions . . . to sugar and everything else.
Now, this might seem like a stretch, but I really do think we have the opportunity to make a radical mindset shift in how we’re living that will translate into every single habit. Even our food habits.
We have the opportunity to speak truth to the longing in our souls, reminding our minds that our feelings don’t get the final say.
What if hard was our new normal as we live for eternity? But in that hard we always have Jesus as our strength and the Holy Spirit as our guide.
So that next time that half-pint in the freezer is calling your name, the only response is, “Nah, you can’t help me. You’re just numbing me out from being a faithful, sensible servant that my Master can trust” (Matthew 24:45). Yep, Jesus calls you and I a “faithful, sensible servant” when we live “ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44-45).
Imagine living ready even without a plan! Hah, that’s radical thinking for many of us! But it’s that kind of thinking that changes the way we manage the stewardship of our bodies, our families, our homes.
It kicks our sugar god to the curb and makes a place for our One and Only God to dwell fully. It shifts our focus to the Jesus-work we’ve been commissioned to do, keeping our hands busy and mind focused on the One Who Made Us. It reminds us we’re equipped for everything we need in this life as we await His glorious return!
Heavenly Father, I give you my struggle with living in the hard places and difficult situations on this journey to eternity. God, I know I go after comfort when you are calling me to go after you alone. Please forgive me, Lord. Please open my heart and mind to receive your truth and live it out accordingly. In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.
A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.
Matthew 24:45 NLT
Join me for more devotionals and encouragement in the 40 Day Sugar Fast hosted by Wendy Speake.