Journal - Keep Watch - wk12

Keep Watch
Matthew 24:42

Week 12/Day 4

Hey, y’all. It’s Daisy. I’m back again with another devotional. I know y’all were waiting for it. Today we are going to be in Matthew 24, verse 42. That is what we are meditating on today; really let it sink into our hearts and our minds and use it to connect with our Creator.

I’m going to read this verse first, a couple of times, meditate on it with you, and then you are going to press pause and go and meditate on the verse on your own. Then come back and press play when you are ready to continue with the devotional.

Matthew 24:42 (NLT)
24 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.

Okay. In the MEDITATE section of your journal, while you are reflecting on this verse, write in your own words what this verse says. And then come back, and we will continue on with the devotional.

So, you know, sometimes I just get so distracted. I get so distracted by work, by friends, by family, by the news. I get so distracted, and I kind of feel like sometimes I’m just playing along in this game of life, and I lose focus of what is to come. And I’m not keeping watch. And I know that if I was keeping watch, if I knew, if I knew the day or the hour or the year that Christ was going to come back, I know it would change my perspective in life. I know it would make me so much more urgent to really make the most of my time here. To really make the most of my connections, to really be sharing the love and the joy of knowing Christ.

And sometimes, I put that on the back burner. And really, I mean, God is all that we have. It is the final destination. It is our eternal soul that is at stake. And sometimes, I don’t make that an urgent mission enough.

And so, even though we don’t know when Christ is going to return, we do have so many opportunities. I have until my very last breath. I have the opportunity to make a difference in this world and to show people the love of Jesus and to talk with them and to connect with them, and to share with them what I know. And I want to make more use of my time.

And so, for the application part of this devotional, I want you to think about the way that you’re utilizing your relationship with God. Are you using it just to be a Christian? Just to be a good Christian? Or are you using it to bring hope to others, to really live your life in the footsteps of Jesus? To really follow him and to show people what that takes, and to use your life as a demonstration? To use your words to connect with people and to connect with their soul and remind them of how precious they are and to share with them how much God wants to know them?
Are we really spending enough time ministering to people? Are we really connecting to people and not just telling people, “Hey! You’re a sinner. You need to repent.”? You know, are we taking time to do what Jesus did – to go into our communities, to listen, to work, to heal, to love, to sit in the swamp of people’s pain and to lift them out and to bring them to Jesus, and say, “Hey. This is what helped me. This is the only answer. This is it.”? Are we doing that?

And so, I want you to think about that. And so when you’re ready, I want you to pause and write in the APPLY area of your journal page about how this verse applies personally and specifically to your life. And then, come back, and we will move on to the response part of this devotional.

Okay, we are moving on to the response section. So as we write in the RESPOND area of our journal, I want us to think about ways that we can really implement this. Be thinking about how you can make this fun. How can you make connecting to Jesus a warm and exciting, and fun experience?
How can we change up our message and how we invite people to get to know God? And maybe it’s just inviting someone to church and saying, “Hey. Come to church with me. I want to go to lunch after. You don’t have to come back to church with me ever again if you don’t want to. Just come once, and then let me take you out to lunch, and let me just treat you. Let me just love you. Let me just talk to you and get to know you.” It can be something as simple as that. But make Jesus inviting because he is. And I think the church has gotten a bad rap. I think that we’ve kind of taken the joy out of getting to know Christ. And it’s such a rich and joyful experience. So, how do we show people the love of Jesus, even through inviting them to get to know him? Think about that. That’s what I am thinking about this weekend and what I can do to really minister to people in my everyday life. So go and write in your RESPOND section, and then come back.

Now, in the PRAY area of your journal, write out a prayer to God. I want you to pray for God to bring people into your life (or maybe they are already there) to show you the people that he really wants you to help and connect with. And so, ask him to open up your eyes and open up your hearts to the people who need him right now. And pray for courage. Pray for the courage to follow through because I know it’s hard. But we have to be courageous. We really have to be courageous because people – souls – are at stake. That’s a big deal. That’s a big deal to God. Go ahead and do that and then come back, and I will close us in prayer.

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, it is so easy for us to get caught up in the things that weigh us down. We have schedules to follow and bills to pay. We have struggles of our own to overcome. And sometimes, we don’t even feel close to you in our own lives. So, how are we supposed to bring other people to you? We have families to feed and jobs to do. So we can really easily get caught up in our own lives and in our own selfish purposes.

And we lose sight of the fact that Jesus is coming back and that there are still people that don’t know him. And because it has been so long since Jesus walked this earth, it’s so easy to think he’s not going to return… at least he won’t return in our lifetime. And so, we lose that sense of urgency and that passion and that watchfulness. But Jesus wants us to be ready. And part of being obedient is to live with the expectation that he is returning.

And so, we come to you today, and we ask that you make our hearts urgent, that you make our minds alert, that you draw us to people who need us, and that you make their hearts receptive to hearing your Word and that you remind us of how Jesus brought people to him. It was just his presence. It was in his understanding. It was in his grace. And that’s why it’s so important that we learn to live like him so that our presence makes him known to others. We pray that you will guide us, and help us, and present us with many opportunities to make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen.