READING: Matthew 25
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Today’s reading continues the discussion of Jesus’ return. In this chapter, though, are recurrent and dramatic images about those who are NOT prepared for that event:
- The foolish virgins didn’t take enough oil to be prepared should Jesus delay His coming. They did not persevere in preparation and persistence, and the bridegroom would say only of them, “I assure you, I do not know you” (Matt. 25:12).
- The man given one talent only buried it in the ground, and he had nothing more to give to the owner; in turn, the mandate was, “And throw this good-for-nothing slave in the other darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:30).
- The people who did not minister to the hungry, thirsty, and hurting would “go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46).
Upon His return, Jesus expects to find us persevering, working, multiplying, and ministering. While no such works save us, our Lord does assume that our faith would be evident in our actions. Only then will He say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21). In my own life, that reality forces me to consider how much I do that is not focused enough on Christ. Much of what I do during a given day seems to have little eternal significance — and that kind of temporal “stuff” won’t ultimately keep us going.
ACTION STEPS: Consider today what components of your life could be set aside as temporal and distracting. Make sure you’re working and waiting for Christ’s return.
PRAYER: “God, grant me grace to be more diligent in doing those things with an eternal significance. Remind me that sharing the gospel with non-believers might well be one of the most eternal things I can do today.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 26, Mark 14