Numbers 9:4-23; Mark 13:28-37; Psalms 51:1-9; Proverbs 15:5-7
NT: “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows — neither the angels in heaven nor the Son — but only the Father. Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming. It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming — whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!” (Mark 13:32-37 CSB)
In this passage, there are a couple of Greek words that get translated into “Be Alert!” The first is ‘agrypneo.’ That word means to stay awake – to stay attentive and not fall asleep. The second is ‘gregoreo,’ which means to pay active attention to something. Those are things that every believer should be doing, regardless of the times or seasons. Our Master has “left the house” so to speak, and has left it in our care. He has gone to prepare a place for us and will be returning. Though no one knows the day or hour, we do know that He is returning. Are we doing His work while He is gone, or have we grown complacent in our waiting? We have been given this time and place in history. Are we going to be active in the grace He gives us, or are we going to fall asleep and waste the opportunity that is before us? While we are waiting for His return, it is not a passive waiting. It is an active waiting where our lives are full of doing what He has charged us to do, so that when He does return, He will find a growing, vibrant, mature, faith-filled Church that has been ever advancing His kingdom here on earth. Instead of trying to predict when He will come, we should be about making things ready for when He does come – actively attentive to what He has called us to do and actively attentive to the signs of His return.
Psalms: “Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. Against you — you alone — I have sinned and done this evil in your sight. So you are right when you pass sentence; you are blameless when you judge… Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, and you teach me wisdom deep within. Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.” (Psalms 51:1-4, 6-9 CSB)
David was described by God as a man after God’s heart. That doesn’t mean that David was perfect. It means that David was relentlessly pursuing the things that were on God’s heart, and in the process, was having his heart transformed to be like God’s. One of the primary ways that David maintained His passion for God was by readily acknowledging his sin and rapidly repenting when he stepped out of God’s will and ways. David had committed an unthinkable act. First he slept with his companion’s wife while his companion was off fighting for him… and then he had his companion killed to hide his misdeeds. David was the king, and he could have used his position and authority to sweep everything under the rug. When he was confronted, instead of getting angry and defensive, and silencing his accuser; he quickly realized that his sin could not be hidden from God, and that remaining in his sin would jeopardize everything. So he humbled himself, acknowledged his sin, repented to God, and asked for forgiveness. This is so key in our walk with the Lord. Repentance is relational. For us to maintain our relationship with the Lord… to continue receiving His grace… and to stay alert, we must be rapid repenters.
Proverbs: “A fool despises his father’s discipline, but a person who accepts correction is sensible.” (Proverbs 15:5 CSB)
Do we receive the Lord’s correction when we sin? Most of the time, His correction comes through other believers: spouses, friends, leaders, subordinates. Do we reject correction and become defensive and angry, or do we consider the words brought to us by others and humble ourselves before the Lord in confession and repentance? Defensiveness is foolish, while humble repentance is sensible – and leads to life.