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December 29 – The timing of the King’s return

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” – Matthew 25:13 

Scripture reading: Matthew 25:1-13

As our thoughts turn toward the end of the year, it is natural for our thoughts to also turn to the end of time and the beginning of eternity. We know that this year ends in three days and that the year 2020 will end 366 days after it begins. But we don’t know when Jesus will return to bring the world as we know it to an end and cause a recreated world to begin. Jesus tells us, “No one knows about that day or hour. The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:36,44). He then tells a parable to teach us to always be ready for His return.

The ten bridesmaids are part of a wedding party. They are awaiting the bridegroom to arrive, but he is delayed. The delay is not the problem. Unpreparedness is. Five of the bridesmaids did not bring extra oil. When their lamps burn out, they have to head back to town to buy more oil. Tragically, the bridegroom returns while they are away. He takes with him those who are ready, but leaves behind those who were unprepared.

This reminds us that Christianity is not a one-time decision for Christ, nor an insurance policy to be renewed on an annual basis. It is a moment-by-moment lifestyle of repentance and trust. We get ready and remain ready for His return by continually confessing our sins, and by continually trusting that His blood cleanses us and His righteousness clothes us.

Jesus will return. Are you ready? Will you stay ready?

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God that the oil of forgiveness is continually and freely available through the gift of faith in Jesus Christ. Ask for help to live in a constant state of readiness by continually confessing sin and by continually trusting in the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God DevotionalRev. Brian Zegers has been serving the Lord by working with Word of Life Ministry as home missionary to the Muslim community in Toronto, Ontario since 2015.

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