"Watch therefore…" "Be wise and warned." These words are echoed in the book of Matthew chapter 24. What are we to watch for? Jesus said
'watch' for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. In other words, if you are not watching, He will come when you least expect Him. Are
we watching diligently for His return or are we caught up in social media? Are we caught up with daily entertainment? Are we more
interested in the cares of the world than what our Father would say to us through His Word? Do we seek earnestly in the morning to hear the
voice of our Father or do we set Him aside to listen to the latest gossip on Twitter or Facebook? Are we looking for His coming?
"Wise." Jesus gave us the exhortation to be wise. Jesus hasn't returned yet and what are we to be doing in His absence? We are not to be
sitting around, goofing off or kicking back. Jesus says the wise servant is the one who is doing good. Doing good. Sometimes we say to
ourselves, I'm doing good, but it doesn't seem to be doing any good.
The story goes of a man who lived in the North Beach section of San Francisco, an area known for sin and carnality of the worst sort. As he
watched the neighborhood begin to sink into sin, he went out on the streets and while the barkers were trying to pull people into their topless
bars, he talked to people about Jesus. In the early '40s and '50s he even wore a sandwich sign with a gospel message neatly lettered on both
sides. Many years later, this precious old man was asked, "Why do you keep doing this? It's not doing any good." He replied. "I may not be
changing them," "But I'm doing this lest they change me." Truly, this was a wise servant.
Christ not only said be 'wise' but to be 'warned.' Matthew 24:48 reads: But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his
coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken… The word "evil" here is interesting. "Kakos" in
Greek, it means "something that was once good but has gone bad." It's a word used to describe an instrument out of tune or a piece of fruit
gone bad. How did this servant go bad? He simply tired of waiting for his master's return. His sense of urgency and expectancy was replaced
with brutality and carnality.
Brutality and carnality. Brutality. You can tell when you are falling into the "evil servant" mentality when you begin to "smite your
fellowservants," when you begin to beat up on people verbally and treat them unkindly. You see, if I am truly looking for the Lord's coming
today, it will affect how I treat every person with whom I come in contact. I will treat my spouse differently if I believe Jesus is coming back
within the hour. I'll talk to those I work with differently if I believe Jesus will show up at any moment. I won't push people around; I won't put
people down; I won't beat up on people if I believe Jesus is coming back soon.
Carnality follows brutality. The evil servant began to "eat and drink with the drunken." Jesus says: Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when
he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
Almost one-third of the Bible deals with prophecy and why prophecy can never be over-emphasized. The church has been looking for Christ's
return for 2000 years. But week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade, those who are looking for his coming find
ourselves saying "Lord, I want to be ready. We all have our struggles and setbacks, but our mindset should be one where we say "Lord, I want
to be ready." I want to put away those things with which I once flirted. I want to keep looking for you.
Heaven is real, and our prayer should be that when we get there we hear the words: "Well done, good and faithful servant." How do we make
our lives meaningful presently? How should we prepare for eternity? We need to have ears to hear what the Father tells us to do instead of
listening to the pressures and demands of people. All the demands and Burdens from people and preachers, churches and organizations can
be heavy. Jesus say in Matthew 11:30 "My yoke is easy. My burden is light." What does that mean? "Burden is light?" In Ezekiel 44, God told
the priests they were to wear no wool, lest it cause them to perspire. They were to wear only linen because He didn't want them "sweating" in
their service for Him. The same is true for us. It is not the heart of our Father that we frantically try to meet every need and minister to every
problem. We'll burn out in the process. Rather, it is His desire that we are faithful in the work He gives us to do.
How do we find out what His work for us is? I think of Moses. Moses went to the mountain to meet the Lord and came down with the
Commandments (Exodus 19:20). I think of Jesus as example: A great while before morning, Jesus would go to a solitary place to pray (Mark
How can we hear the heart of the Father? Follow the example of Moses and Jesus and daily enter the presence of the Lord, saying, "Lord,
guide my thoughts right now as I spend time in Your Word and talk about the day ahead and in front of me. He might say, "can you take an
hour away from your video games, your social media and pray for mission work around the world?" He might whisper, can you help your
neighbor who is struggling with some home chore?
I think we often believe in error, that sometimes the Lord is cracking the whip saying to this or do that or get busy. But He isn't. He says His
burden is light. Likewise, He knows our limitation and working for Him should not be work - it should be enjoyment as He leads us and guides
us day by day. What our Father would say to me, what He would say to you is "Let me guide you and lead you day by day."
Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to take time to seek Him each day in a quiet, solitary place. Like Moses, go to the mountain with tablet in
hand and write down whatever He places on your heart. You won't be burdened by His requests. You won't get an ulcer. You won't even
sweat. Yours will be a beautiful ministry that will be rewarded eternally if you focus on the work He gives you to do.
WESTERN HILLS BAPTIST CHURCH
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