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Apr 18 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Seventy-Four – Matthew 14:1-14

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13

Jesus did not predict a happy or blissful future for his disciples. With the world on fire, they could expect to get burned. Jesus described coming events as one world crisis after another. Then, in a matter-of-fact way, he added, “[They] will kill you” (v. 9). Had I been there, I probably would have interrupted him and said, “Excuse me, Lord. What did You just say?

Jesus never runs out of surprises. In particular, the verses quoted above run counter to what good Evangelical Christians would expect him to say. They would expect something from Jesus like, “Put your trust in Me and you have nothing to fear. Disaster may come to the world, God’s judgment will fall on the nations, and he will bring history to a close, but you will be protected.” In other words, we expect Jesus to say, “The one who is saved will endure to the end” rather than the other way around.

We will probably never understand why God has not make life easy for his children. Jesus did not seem overly concerned that his disciples would go through hard times, but he was very concerned that they remained anchored in him. It was not that Jesus wanted his followers to suffer, he just wanted them to love him more than life.

We confess, O Lord, that we have a small view of life. To us, life means this brief span of mortality. You, however, see a horizon that recedes into infinity. In Your eyes, we are more than the sum total of what we can achieve or acquire in our lifetime. Help us to be less attached to, and enamored with the temporal things of this world and more anchored in the eternal–more anchored in You.

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