Lesson 14 -- second quarter 1998
May 31, 1998
© Copyright 1998, Christian Light Publications
What catches your eye? What do you gaze upon with unabashed admiration? We certainly like to admire things that we or others have made. Architecture, art, vehicles, clothing, craftsmanship, inventions--they can look so nice, so beautiful, so enticing, so awe-inspiring!
This is all wood, hay and stubble. No, I don't mean to be a spoil-sport, nor do I mean to deny beauty. I, too, enjoy the aesthetic attractiveness of something well made. I just think today's lesson has a very pertinent message for us. Listen again to a conversation long ago. "Wow! Just look at this neat stuff!" gushed one of the disciples. "There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down," responded the Lord.
Don't let temporal beauty distract you from its fleeting nature. Don't allow natural beauty to blind your vision to the unfading beauty of spiritual truth and reality.
Jesus used natural human admiration for beauty to provoke thought about the end of all things. His disciples just as naturally wondered, "When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign?" Can we drag our minds sufficiently away from that which we admire to wonder when it shall be consumed? Then, having gone from admiring to wondering, let's adjust our living accordingly!
Years after today's lesson at the temple, God inspired one of those disciples to write: "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?" (2 Peter 3:10,11).
Do you get the picture?! The end is coming! The heavens, the earth, the elements, man's creativity on earth--"all these things shall be dissolved"! So don't allow all this stuff to get a grip on you. Don't let the things of this life keep you from holiness and godly living. Harness your mind, discipline your passions, subdue your covetousness and gird up the loins of your mind for Christian living in the final age.
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).
Folks, the Lord has given to every one of us our work. Do you know what that means? It means we've got a job to do here! So let's get on with our duties and our calling. If we don't, who will? Wake up, get up and get going! The kingdom of the Lord has no room for slackers. The vineyard of the Lord is for vine dressers, not for wine bibbers! "The night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).
Watch and work, pray and prevail--you don't know when the husbandman will return from the journey. But you do know that He is coming. So be faithful, keep at the task, and you will be ready for His glorious appearing, whenever that is. "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching" (Luke 12:37).
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