Scripture: Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that
the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking
place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you,
this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. 33 Heaven
will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Meditation: Jesus prophesied two events we must prepare ourselves for. One is tribulation and the other is his second coming. Our age has certainly seen great tribulation— two world wars, the holocaust in which six million Jews perished, the persecution and martyrdom of countless Christians under the tyranny of communism, militant Islam, and atheistic regimes. Many Christians in the free nations are unaware of the tribulation of the suffering church in oppressed places. We must "watch" with them and pray for them.
Jesus used the image of a fig tree to teach his disciples an important lesson about reading the "signs of the times". The fig tree was a common and important source of food for the Jews. It bore fruit twice a year, in the autumn and in the early spring. The Talmud said that the first fruit came the day after Passover. The Jews believed that when the Messiah came he would usher in the kingdom of God at Passover time. The signs of spring are evident for all who can see. Just so are the signs of God's kingdom and his coming in judgment. The "budding" of God's kingdom begins first in the hearts of those who are receptive to God's word. Those who trust in God's word will bear the fruits of his kingdom. And what are the fruits of that kingdom? The kingdom of God ..is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).
We do not know when the Lord will return again. But the Lord does give us signs, not only to "wake us up" as a warning, but also to "rouse our spirits" to be ever ready and eager to see his kingdom come in all its power and glory. The "Day of the Lord" will strike terror in those who reject the kingdom of God, but it will be a day of joy and rejoicing for those who long to see the Lord face-to-face. The Lord wants us to be filled with joyful anticipation for his coming. He surely comes to us each day and knocks on the doors of our hearts. And he will surely come again to establish his kingdom in all its fulness. Do you read the "signs of the times" and do you pray for God's kingdom to be fully revealed?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and
the end of all human history, and the lord of creation. Rouse my spirit
to seek your kingdom first in all that I do. Give me joy and hope
in your word that I may never forget your promises nor stray from your