This devotional guide prepares readers for the April 14 sermon from Luke 19:11-27 in which Jesus tells his audience how to think about the second coming and how to be prepared. This devotional will give you several ways to think about the coming of Jesus through the poetry of a hymn, through prayer, scripture, and reflection.
Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, April 08. Read Acts 1:6-9. 1) What is the occasion of this text? 2) What question do the disciples have for Jesus? 3) What is Jesus’ reply? 4) How do you think we violate what Jesus said?
Tuesday, April 09. Read Luke 21:29-36. 1) What does Jesus tell the disciples to do in verse 34 of this text? 2) What could happen without the preparation mentioned above? 3) What do you think a disciple must do in order to be so prepared?
Wednesday, April 10. Read 1 Corinthians 1:4-9. 1) What does Paul say spiritual gifts help us t do? 2) What do these gifts prepare us for and how?
Thursday, April 11. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. 1) What did Paul say about the Lord’s return? What will it be like? 2) What will happen to unprepared people?
Friday, April 12. Read Mark 13:1-8. 1) What were the disciples looking at in this passage and what was their response to it? 2) What did Jesus say was going to happen? 3) What future historical event was Jesus referring to? See this Wikipedia article for information on this.
Saturday, April 13. Read Luke 19:11-27. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Father, we know that we are the servants, waiting not on a nobleman but rather on YOU. We know you are not harsh in your love, but rather you anxiously await the changes that will transform us and multiply our gifts in your service. Please help us to be ever given to this pursuit. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
Come, let us anew our journey pursue
by Charles Wesley 1749
Come, let us anew
Our journey pursue,
With vigour arise,
And press to our permanent place in the skies;
Of heavenly birth,
Tho’ wand’irng on earth,
This is not our place,
But strangers and pilgrims ourselves we confess.
At Jesus’ call,
We give up our All;
And still we forego,
For Jesus’s sake, our enjoyments below;
No longing we find
For the country behind;
But onward we move,
And still we are seeking a country above.
A country of joy
Without any alloy,
We thither repair,
Our heart and our treasure already are there.
We march hand in hand
To Immanuel’s land;
No matter what cheer
We meet with on earth, for eternity’s near!
The rougher our way,
The shorter our stay;
The tempests that rise
Shall gloriously hurry our souls to the skies:
The fiercer the blast,
The sooner ’tis past;
The troubles that come,
Shall come to our rescue, and hasten us home.
Devotional Article for the Week:
Sooner or later, it’s time to end the preparation!
by Tom Norvell
Have you ever noticed how much time we spend preparing? You are receiving this article a bit early because we are preparing to leave on vacation. All week long I have been preparing to write this article in my mind long before I put my fingers to the keyboard. In a few minutes, we will be preparing for dinner. A little while after that, we will prepare to go to bed. During the time we are sleeping, we will be preparing for the coming day. Then, as the day begins, we will be preparing for the rest of the day and probably spend some time preparing for what is going to happen tomorrow. It seems that I am always preparing.
As parents, we spend nine months preparing for a baby. Then we prepare them for kindergarten and elementary school. Before they finish elementary school, we begin preparing them for middle school. More and more, middle school is becoming a time of preparing for high school, which in turn is preparation for college. Of course, all along the way we are preparing them for adulthood, marriage, parenthood, how to help them prepare our grandchildren for …
Teachers spend most of the semester preparing their students for the final exam that comes at the end of the semester. Students spend considerable time every semester preparing for those same exams.
Employers spend large amounts of time and sums of money preparing their employees for the job they have been hired to perform. Workshops, seminars, and training sessions are designed to help prepare workers to be better workers.
Coaches work late into the night viewing tapes, and reviewing last week’s stats in preparation for the next game. Players work to correct their mistakes, improve on the fundamentals to enhance their performance in the next game. Fans become armchair quarterbacks, coaching experts and offer suggestions on how next game can be better than the last.
Churches spend years planning to reach their community for the Lord. Months are spent on preparing for mission trips. Extensive plans are developed and huge amounts of money are collected for projects and buildings that are designed to help expand the borders of God’s kingdom. Training programs, classes, and specifically designed promotional efforts are conducted to prepare us to share the good new with the people next door.
I have now spent six paragraphs preparing for what I really want to say. With so much time spent in preparation, when do we get on with what we are here to do? When will parents enjoy our children? When will our children enjoy being children? When will teachers and students enjoy being in school? When will work become fulfilling and enjoyable? When will a sport be just a game? When will Christians begin to tell our story?
Jesus spent three years preparing twelve men to change the world. He then turned them loose empowered with the Holy Spirit to go about the work of changing lives. The disciples spent those three years preparing their hearts and lives for what God had planned for them. The New Testament writers left us letters to prepare us for the work of carrying on the mission of the Lord.
Preparation is necessary and wise. It is foolish to tackle a project without proper preparation. But eventually, the preparation must end. Remember that Jesus reached the point when He said, “It is time.” At the end of the gospels He told them, “Go.” Eventually we must get on with the work. Eventually preparation time is over.
Maybe it’s time.