Day 184: July 3, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Matthew 24 Read Online
Matthew 25 Read Online
Mark 13 Read Online
Luke 21:5-36 Read Online

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

—Luke 21:27

Behold Our King
by Henry Dutton,

Recently, I was very humbled and honored to witness one of the godliest men I’ve ever known live out his last days and pass into the presence of Jesus. Over the past several years, my dear friend Mr. Sampson and his family have truly become part of my family.

When I heard he was beginning to take a turn for the worse, my wife and I planned time to visit him. Even when circumstances were grim, and even when his body began to fail, Mr. Sampson continued to be one of the most joyful, loving people I’ve ever met.

Not only did he carry love and joy in his heart, but he also continued to serve and share that love with others for as long as he was able.

Mr. Sampson made an effort to call all of his nursing staff and doctors by name. He took a genuine interest in everyone with whom he came in contact. He led weekly prayer meetings in his hospital room (sometimes daily). And he boldly and unashamedly proclaimed the love of Christ.

By the end of his time in the hospital, at least two of his medical attendants were seriously considering becoming followers of Christ simply because of his testimony.

One evening before Mr. Sampson passed away, he took a moment to share with me how he was able to continue to live in love and joy even in though his situation was bleak.

Mr. Sampson knew that, as believers, we have victory in Christ—victory over sin and death. Each day, we have to make the decision whether or not we’ll walk and live in that victory or whether we’ll let the troubles of the world bog us down. Mr. Simpson had made a commitment to live in victory.

If you take time to watch the news or read the paper, it won’t take long before you come to the conclusion that things in the world are a mess. Disease, death, and injustice are rampant. Even if you examine your personal life, odds are it is full of difficulty.

In today’s passages, Jesus was teaching about the end times. And from his description, things in this world are only going to get worse. Yet in the midst of terrible circumstances (earthquakes, violence, darkness), we see Jesus returning as the King (Luke 21:27).

What we sometimes forget, though, is that Jesus is already the risen, victorious King.

As Christians, we see and know a different reality. We know that Christ has risen from the dead and that He’s already won the battle. Even when circumstances in this world are grim and spiteful, we can rest in the fact that Jesus is King.

When all hope seems lost, we can have hope in the fact that Christ will one day return and make all things new. In the meantime, though, the choice is up to you—will you live in Christ’s victory or allow the affairs of the world to weigh you down?

Note: The names in the story above have been changed to respect family privacy.

Reflection Questions

  1. Jesus is King, and one day He’ll return to rule the earth. Are you allowing Him to truly rule your life now?
  2. Are there areas of your life where you need to surrender to Him?
  3. What steps can you take this week to live in Christ’s victory?
  4. How has God been faithful and true to you, even in the midst of difficult situations?

About the Author

Henry Dutton
Twitter   » Blog/Website

Henry is a Camp Director with CentriKid Camps and a student in the graduate program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s attended Brentwood Baptist since August 2011. Married to Amy, Henry loves to camp, hike, do things outdoors, and play games with friends, but he can’t stand to touch popsicle sticks. He’s a regular writer on the CentriKid Camps blog. You can keep up with him on Twitter @henryidutton.