Devotion 446 – Monday of Pentecost 26

Opening Prayer

God, let Your Word waken sincerity and faithfulness in our soul! Amen.

Text: Matthew 24:4-14

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Devotion

A shocking portrayal of the last times! Just as Paul writes: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2Ti 3:1-5). Indeed something for each of us to think about and to examine ourselves!

If these things describe us, then we are misfortunate people. O that we might consider this from the Lord’s point of view! There still are true believers, but they experience that the spirit of unrighteousness is powerful in the last days of the world. They have to ward off pride, disobedience, lack of charity, unbelief, lust, and all Satan’s poison that surrounds them.

How sad it is what Jesus says here about Christians in the last days: “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Let this admonish us seriously that we are not overtaken. Even in the worst times we can watch and conquer. “He who endures to the end shall be saved,” says the Lord. “And you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Mar 13:13). He cries out to us: Be faithful, be vigilant and steadfast. I will strengthen and keep you! “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev 2:10). He is faithful. Hear and obey Him! Fear God, pray unceasingly, flee wickedness in all forms, and keep the brotherhood of love with the children of God. Then poison will not harm you, fire will not burn you, waters will not carry you away, but Satan with all his cunning and power will be put to shame (Mar 16:18; Isa 43:2).

Closing Prayer

Grant us such grace, merciful, faithful God, in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymn

To You, O Lord, I call with haste
In these last days of living,
That You will ever with Your grace
For Your dear Church be striving;
She’s oft oppressed By Satan’s best,
Who sorely would assail us;
O Christ, our Shield,
Your Word now wield
And let it never fail us!

To God be praise for grace so sure
That now on me is falling,
Me by His Word so strong and pure
He’s to His kingdom calling!
O Spirit kind, Now take my mind
Until my life is ending.
Lord, take my soul
And keep it whole,
My life to You commending!

Frederick II: Mit Haab og Trøst og al tillid L114:2-3 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Mit Haab og Trøst (LHy 428) or Was mein Gott will (ELH 477); alternate hymn: In Thee, Lord, have I put my trust ELH 524

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