Daily Devotionals

The End Week 3: Monday

So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. Matthew 25:13

Imagine you are running errands when a stranger suddenly runs up to you and says that a monsoon is coming. What would you do? Would you run to your car, grab an umbrella, and head home soon? Or would you keep going without worrying about anything, running all your errands without an umbrella, or trying to get home to avoid being out in the monsoon? Which one of these responses shows that you believe that a monsoon is coming? The first response, right? When you believe that a storm is coming, you prepare, whether grabbing an umbrella, raincoat, or heading home to avoid being caught in that storm. We are in the middle of a series about the return of Jesus, and the question we have to wrestle with today is, “Do we believe that Jesus is really returning?” If the answer is yes, do our actions represent that we actually believe He is coming?

Jesus taught about the importance of expecting His coming in Matthew 25. To illustrate His point, He told a story. The story he told was about 10 bridesmaids waiting for the groom to come to marry their friend, the bride. They took lamps to meet him. Five did not take enough oil, which was required to light their lamps, and five brought extra oil, anticipating they might have to wait a bit for the groom. The groom, as five bridesmaids anticipated, was delayed. Waiting for the groom, the bridesmaids fell asleep. At midnight, they heard an announcement that the groom was coming, and the five bridesmaids without extra oil for their lamps realized that they needed more oil. They went out to buy more oil, “but while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came” (verse 10). The bridesmaids who had brought extra oil went with the groom to the wedding, and the rest of the bridesmaids missed the wedding.

After telling the story, Jesus warned listeners, “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. This was the purpose of the entire story. Those who keep watch and prepare, knowing that Jesus is coming soon, will be prepared when He returns. The question is, are we ready? I do not know about you, but I want to be ready and prepared when that time comes because Jesus is coming again. What a beautiful day that will be!

Moving toward action

Take out your journal and answer these questions: Do I believe Jesus is returning? How do my actions point to that belief? As you process these questions, challenge yourself to answer this question honestly. If you find that your actions and belief about Jesus’ return do not match up, commit to living in such a way that your actions point to your belief that Jesus is returning one day.

Going Deeper

Matthew 25:1-13 (NLT)

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."