The Text

Mark 13:14–23 (CSB)
14 “When you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be” (let the reader understand), “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains.

15 A man on the housetop must not come down or go in to get anything out of his house,

16 and a man in the field must not go back to get his coat.

17 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days!

18 “Pray it won’t happen in winter.

19 For those will be days of tribulation, the kind that hasn’t been from the beginning of creation until now and never will be again.

20 If the Lord had not cut those days short, no one would be saved. But he cut those days short for the sake of the elect, whom he chose.

21 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘See, here is the Messiah! See, there!’ do not believe it.

22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

23 And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance.

The Devotion

In everything that Christ wants from us–our hearts, our mind, our sin, our wickedness, our deceit–in his preaching, Christ wants our undivided attention.

The world is trying to distract you away from Christ. Christ said there will be many false messiahs and prophets and they will do all kinds of cool things that get you away from God. Yes, even the Christians.

We used to think it would be signs and wonders. Now we know that it will be how you can identify yourself other than Christ. How you can build your own identity based on how you feel, or what you think or what you do–when all it matters is that how does the God of Universe identifies you?

In his Son or apart from his Son?

Under the blood of Christ or under the wrath of Christ?

Sins washed away by Christ or sins grinding your bones into dust?

Jesus proclaimed “well done, good and faithful servant” or Jesus condemned “depart from me, you workers of wickedness and lawlessness!”

This will not come as shock to no one who stands before the King of kings. For what did Christ say:

And you must watch! I have told you everything in advance.

Mankind knows this is coming. Paul says in Romans 1 that we know yet we suppress the truth. Those who are not in Christ will stand before him, ready to give a defense of what they did, how they felt, or what they thought, because they knew this day was coming.

But those who are in Christ will stand before their blessed Savior not to give a defense, because the Spirit of God bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16), but rather, give an account all that Christ has done for them.

If you know Christ and Christ knows you, give thanks.

If you do not know the sin-bearing Christ who has come to set you free from sin and freedom into God, come to him now and repent. The kingdom of God is here.

The Discussion

1. Do you know God like this?

The Prayer from the Psalms

Psalm 19(CSB)

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge.

3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.

4 Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun.

5 It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; it rejoices like an athlete running a course.

6 It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous.

10 They are more desirable than gold— than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.

11 In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is an abundant reward.

12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults.

13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

My God,
Yet, you transported from the spiritual to the material. You cut across space and time. You _personally_ opened my eyes, gave words for my throat, opened my eyes, filled my heart, and gave me understanding so that I may know you. You gave me rest for my soul, removed the curse from my tongue, made me your son and you glorified me.

You called out to me so that I might have life. You spoke to me because I am your friend. You whisper to me because you are always near to me.

Your words are without comparison. There is no other word that actually raised me from the dead. There is no other name by which I am saved. There is no other for you alone have the words to eternal life.

My Lord and God. My Savior. My Redeemer. My Father. My Christ. My Spirit.

My words still fall short. My heart is still so weak. But what little life I have and with what few words I  can say, let them be my worship to you.

I love you, Lord. With all that I am, I will forever bless your holy name.

Amen.

The Media

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