“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
In 1 Corinthians 7:29 it says, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short.” An even more remarkable statement is found in Revelation 10:5-6: “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer.”
It is in time that the eternal God creates and prepares a people to be with Himself. For the present time God expresses another desire and purpose in Isaiah 57:15: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
This puts a tremendous premium upon contrition and humility. Do we now value this enough to seek to be of a contrite and humble spirit, and do we desire the presence of the Lord our God dwelling with us? Soon time for us will run out, and we shall be in eternity. Will it be in this year of 2024?
In 1 Peter 4, the term “Christian” is used, and Peter exhorts the believer “that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (v. 2). The next verse speaks of “time past.” So there is time—past, present, and future. Let us redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5).
In Mark 13, our Lord teaches about an unknown length of time of service during the Master’s absence. The disciples are commanded to watch, for they know not the hour. Here the conduct of the disciples is especially before the eyes of the Lord. Concerning that great day and the hour of its arrival, the angels, and even the Son as a man, know not. The Lord Jesus must sit at the right hand of God until His enemies are made His footstool, and the time of His rising up is not revealed. In the meanwhile, the servants are left to live for and to serve their Master during His absence.
What a great privilege this is!
Four times at the end of Mark 13 the word “watch” is used. Not knowing the hour but expecting His return will keep us alert. The word spoken to His disciples ends with this, “What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” So, as we step out into a New Year, may we be Watching and Praying! May you live for Him in 2024!
Praying that the Lord uses this issue of Toward the Mark to help you grow and be established as you read it. Thank you for your e-mails and notes of encouragement. Please keep praying for the Lord’s blessing on Toward the Mark.
Yours in our soon-coming Lord,
Emil S. Nashed
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Toward The Mark
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Attention: Emil S. Nashed