Matthew: Day 24

Jesus Will Come Again                                                                                                 

by

Today's Text: Matthew 24:1-51, Matthew 25:1-46, Daniel 7:13-14

Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:1-51, Matthew 25:1-46, Daniel 7:13-14

Rather than organizing our lives into a zillion little categories like family and finances, work and leisure, God’s Word invites us to adopt a new filing system. Everything ultimately fits into one of only two categories: former things, which are destined to pass away, and forever things, which never will. There is no third option.

In language that feels equal parts inspiring and terrifying, Jesus reminds us to consider forever things here in Matthew 24 and 25. While the gravitational pull of our hearts is to spend our time thinking about the days on our calendar, Christ reminds us that a Day is coming soon that will forever sever our ties to the temporary.

“Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with aloud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30-31).

When Christ returns a second time, the former things will be no more, and only forever things will remain. It’s a promise so spectacular our hearts can’t seem to absorb it. Jesus knows our tendency is to drop our eyes toward our navels rather than straining them heavenward, waiting for His return. In a parable designed to teach us how to wait well, He compares the Church to ten virgins waiting for their bridegroom. Five came prepared to wait as long as necessary. Five were foolish and did not (Matthew 25:1-12).

Just like Jesus’ disciples who slept instead of standing guard with Him in the garden the night before He died, we are the sleepy virgins, prone to to become weary and distracted as we wait. But our Groom is coming. He’s already on His way. There’s still time to shift our focus away from bills and brokenness and toward our coming King. And while we do not know either the day or the hour, we do know that He’s called us to be alert and ready, waiting for Him with expectant hope of His return (v. 13).

In Revelation 21 we’re given a glimpse of what life will be like after Jesus rides in on the clouds. Jesus says, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (v. 3). Christ is coming back to save the Bride whose ransom He’s already paid. Our long separation from Him will finally come to an end. What then?

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (v. 4, emphasis mine). Death, mourning, crying, pain—these will all become former things. As Christ teaches about His return, we find that it’s not that temporal things don’t matter, but a time is coming when they won’t. Jesus is coming back for us. On the timeline of eternity, it won’t be long now. May He find us waiting well.

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

  • Lindsey Bailey

    Being eternally minded is a constant shift for sure. I have always been a ‘live in the moment’ kind of girl, so looking ahead to a heaven my mind doesn’t know how to conceive requires constant connection with God. He is continually having to shift my wondering my eyes from here and now from the things that don’t matter as much. I have learned that the things on this earth that have eternal significance are worth the shift. Everyone else is going to burn away. The eternal will remain.

  • I did today’s readings and the devotional very early this morning as usual but didn’t get all my journaling and notes done that I wanted to do, so I decided to wait until tonight to finish out Chapter 25 when I had more time. I had no idea that later in the day I would be presented with what I am certain was a chance to live out Matthew 25:35-40.

    I stopped at the car wash on my way home from work to deal with several weeks worth of salt and grime from our recent snow and ice and was preparing to vacuum out the passenger side having already finished the driver side. I went over, got the vacuum wand for that side and set about doing the front seat. And I was moving to the back seat, the woman next to me stopped me abruptly and said, “Hey – I was going to use that!”. I quickly said, “oh, I’m sorry – I didn’t know. I am two seconds away from being done.” She immediately became harsh and said “I don’t have time for this. I have a nerve condition (held up her hands) and this isn’t easy for me.” She then turned her back and went to the front of her car. I stood still, vacuum in hand and then as clear as anything, I heard God whisper to me, “Go to her.” And so, I did. I tapped her on the shoulder, extended the vacuum to her, and said “here.” She looked me in the eye and said thank you. We each turned around to do our business. In a few minutes, while I was wiping down the interior, she brought the vacuum back to me and apologized. She said, “I have this nerve condition, fibromyalgia and have had one hellacious day.” I told her I completely understood and then asked if there was anything I could help her with as she was cleaning her car. She said no, but that she truly appreciated it and then proceeded to have small talk with me as we both finished our cars.

    I can assure you that I have never been so certain that I had a test of my character dropped in my lap as in these moments. Now, I have no idea who she was, what her circumstances were, or even whether she was being honest, but I know I showed her grace and that is exactly what Jesus would have done. A vacuum. It was such a small thing but aren’t the small things really big things? Would I have told Jesus – hold on a sec, I’m almost done here. No…I would have given Him anything He needed. So, whether it was literally just the vacuum or a kind word and a smile, I hope I gave that woman what she needed today. She certainly did for me.

    • Crystal

      Thank you for sharing this because I often beat myself up because of all that I’m not doing for others outside my family. I get up in our 6 kids. I think about volunteering time and money but never have the time and money to put it into action. And then that old cloak of guilt hangs on my shoulders all too comfortably. But you’ve reminded me that it’s in daily seemingly small and insignificant ways that I can let Jesus’ love and light shine: a kind hearted smile, saying “Good morning”, holding a door, letting someone who’s in a hurry ahead of me st the store, not grumbling when “Life” things happen.

      Thanks for sharing!

  • What good news! Our Savior will return for us! What a hope and comfort I find in this, especially in the midst of all the tragedy, heartbreak, and evil going on in our world right now. Our Father will one day set all things right. Let your kingdom come God! Help us to serve you well as we wait!

  • Courtney Cates

    Amen and praise His Holy Name!

  • Jo Gistand

    Praying for you Clare! And our GOD will provide all of your needs. He will also give you the strength to work this 3rd job and be a good momma at the same time ❤️.

  • Jo Gistand

    This passage was both terrifying and comforting at the same time! It is so easy to become consumed with life NOW, and not the eternal. Of course we have to live life now, but am I living well? How will he find me when he returns? ThIs definitely gave me something to think about.

  • Cathylynn

    Terri, my commentary says that there are two plausible explanations for that sentence. One is that “generation” can also be translated as “race”. So Jesus was predicting that the Jewish race would survive to see all that. The other explanation is that “the same generation who see the beginning of the Tribulation will see the end (Jesus coming in the clouds to reign).” What do you think? Do either of those make sense to you?

  • “Jesus knows our tendency is to drop our eyes toward our navels rather than straining them heavenward, waiting for His return.”

    This struck me today. I try to be faithful in inviting God into my daily life, but I so rarely step out of the daily grind to consider eternity. Where are treasure is, our hearts will be. But also where our to do lists, schedules, commitments, etc. How much time I waste on temporary things with no greater purpose. Draw my heart to you Lord!

  • Any idea what “This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place ” Mt 24:34 means? This means this in the Greek. Even if you take “generation” as far as “nation” it still has “passed away”. There must be a reason why this sentence was placed here. The very next sentence says His Word will not pass away using the same Greek word for “pass away”.

    • Regine

      I was wondering about it as well. Maybe the Jews are meant with that. They were spread around the world but they are still one nation/ generation.

  • Jesus! There is power in your name! Holy Spirit, guide me. Be my compass as I wait for the second coming. Help me to remain alert and not great w weary. Help me to focus on heavenly treasures rather than earthly treasures as things of this earth will pass away. My prayer is to be alert and focused on you Jesus. Holy Holy Holy is your name! I love that the “heaven and earth” will pass away. I never really grasped that. Even heaven will pass away and we will be left in Gods new creation that has been untouched by sin, where there will be no tears or pain. Praise be to God for our hope that is only found in Him!

  • While these words of Jesus are hard to accept, I believe we are all challenged to dedicate our lives to serving others in the name of Jesus. Plugging into a local body of believers who are working hard to spread the gospel requires personal sacrifice but gives us an avenue to do just that. I believe this is why Jesus established His church. The enemy will try to convince us that we don’t need to do this but if we do, the Lord is honored. Most churches have multiple ways we can serve so I believe we can stay “on watch” and become a sheep rather than a goat by finding the way He can use us in our churches.

  • Carrie Forrester

    Lord Jesus – your words ARE equally inspiring and terrifying. I know that you have promised paradise for your sons and daughters – may you help us to rest in that promise and not mourn the things of this earth which we take such comfort in. Help us to seek and receive our comfort in you only, Lord. Take away our worry and fear and uncertainty about your coming and the new age. Show us or path that you have for us. May we walk it faithfully until you come back to get us.

  • Matthew 25:35-36
    This verse stood out to me today.
    There a lot of people around me who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, and sick. These verses ring in my heart. What do I do? I don’t know what to do. But I want to do something. Lord help me to know.

  • Lovetahoe inOregon

    I feel like Matthew 24:45-46 is saying to me that we must be like the faithful servant that has been in charge of “feeding” at the right time. We should be feeding others with Christ in whatever ways we can. Lord, help me with transparency so that others can see the light of Christ through me and the peace that light can bring. Even in and especially in adversity of any kind, help my faith to remain strong. In your name I pray, amen.

  • Terry Anderson

    Agreeing in prayer right now, Clare. Relief and joy in YOUR rescue, LORD JESUS!!

  • Churchmouse

    How timely is this devotion. I spent this past weekend cleaning out our laundry room – which had really become a catch – all room. The junk I discarded. The unused I gave away. The shelves are organized. Yet everything that remains is still “former” things. One day all will be gone. Today I attend a funeral service where the conversation will be focused on “forever” things. I pray those that have yet to know and understand will really hear and believe. So much talk about what to do with the decreased’s stuff… May the talk turn to where they are and how they got there. Jesus. Let the talk be about Jesus. He is the forever.

  • Kara Gerringer

    Praying .

  • may he find us waiting well
    -thank you for this devotional today.

  • Deb Malloy

    Lord, may we wait well! Be alert, be empathetic and have great love. Focus on the forever things!! Come soon Lord Jesus!

  • Barbara Menefee

    Clare, I’m lifting your family up in prayer!

  • I know where I’m going when He returns, but I also know that some of my adult children will not be joining me if they continue in their current walk. This grieves me terribly and I am in tears this morning just thinking about it. I pray, “whatever it takes, Lord to bring them to You.”

  • Kelly Chataine

    Jesus tells us about the end times in order for us to be aware and ready. God is so complete in His love because we need to know, think about, and prepare for Jesus’ return. However, I can’t help but think that this was also good for our Lord to say these things with the cross looming in the near future. He is able to focus upon the reuniting of God’s people, His brothers and sisters, with His Father. What a blessing for all of us to know that there is an end. . . . no a beginning in sight.

  • Katie Morrison

    He is our daddy and this makes me want to spend more time with Him. It’s like He’s been on a long trip and I can’t wait for Him to get back. Let’s all share His love and joy with His children. We’ll all greet Him with hugs and kisses when He comes to pick us up!

  • Another excerpt from Francis Chan has his wife’s mother so in love with the Lord that she gets giddy every time she sees beside her bed where she spends time with him. One time, they take her to a play for one of the children and he asks her if she is having a good time. Her response is no, I don’t want to be here. What if Jesus were to come back right now? This is not what I would want to be doing. Oh to feel that kind of connection. I yearn to be in love with the Lord like that. I often think of that when I’m binge watching a show on Netflix or doing something completely useless. Is that where I would want to be when he come back? Something to think about…

    • Jenn

      That was meant to say Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love” and it was his wife’s grandmother not mother. Sorry ladies it is early lol

  • Tochi Heredia

    Oof, what a hard, yet encouraging read! Lord, may you find us doing your work, keep us from slacking!

  • ‘Bills and brokenness’ – that pretty much describes our household this week. I totally believe God is in control and has good things for us. We seek to honour him with our lives, finances and all else, but in the midst of the storm of life, where my husband described his emotional state yesterday as feeling ‘stabbed in the heart’ my daughter is exhausted and injured and I’m now looking for a 3rd job in addition to being a Mama, it isn’t easy.
    But this verse comes to mind-
    ‘Yes Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you. Your name and renown are the desire of our heart’ Isa 26 v 8
    As we lift our heart to heaven in sheer determination, we will see Jesus through it all and He will be the light that leads us through.

    • Tina

      Clare, holding you and yours up in prayer, praying reslove comes soon in a way that only God can, peace of heart for you all, and grace abundant in whatever your days look like right now…
      Sending love and hugs wrapped in prayers.. He is near, hold fast to him dearest…xxx

      • CLARENE

        Amen

        • Kristen

          Please God provide for all of Claire’s needs as she serves and seeks you. Nothing is too hard for you God. Please give her peace and joy in this time and may her husband feel Your love and grace as never before. May they all praise Yoy and tell of Your faithfulness and be a testimony to You so others are drawn and saved! In Jesus’ Name Amen

    • Jess Tingen

      Praying for you sweet Clare. May His Kingdom come down now to your little spot on Earth and provide provision and peace.

    • Carrie Forrester

      Clare – this verse Matthew 11:28 came to mind as I read your post ” Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”. I pray that this season of trials will lead you to know him more deeply, trust Him more surely, and to look forward expectantly to the abundance and rest He has waiting for you. He is the God of miracles. He will take care of you, His precious daughter. ♥️

    • Mari

      Praying for you Clare

    • Alexis

      Lord I lift up Clare to you. I pray that you give her provision and provide her every need. Fill her mind with peace, knowing that she can count on you.

    • Debbie Lanier

      Clare, you are surrounded by His Love and ours in this storm of life right now. Father in Heaven, we thank You in advance for Your Provision for Clare and her family. You see their needs, You know the desires of Clare’s heart. We pray for clear direction for Clare and her husband in how they are to move forward, and what steps to take re: finances, bills, and brokenness in their family. We pray for healing and complete restoration from the injury Clare’s daughter has sustained. Together we stand as sisters-in-the-LORD for Clare, holding her arms up supporting her in prayer before You. We give You ALL the Glory, LORD Jesus, in Your Victorious Name, we pray, Amen.

    • Cori S.

      Praying for you, Clare.

    • Natasha Reyes

      You and your family are in my prayers this morning.

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