The CCN Daily Worship by Pastor Don. Roy Hemingway.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, May the Almighty God of hosts be with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen.
Luke 21. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
1 And He looked up and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury,
2 and He saw also a certain poor widow casting therein two mites.
3 And He said, “In truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God, but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”
5 And when some spoke of the temple and how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, He said,
6 “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come in which there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
7 And they asked Him, saying, “Master, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?”
8 And He said, “Take heed that ye be not deceived, for many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ,’ and, ‘the time draweth near.’ Go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified, for these things must first come to pass. But the end is not at once.”
10 Then said He unto them, “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,
11 and great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines and pestilences. And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, and you will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.
13 And it shall turn to you to bear testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand what ye shall answer.
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents and brethren and kinsfolk and friends, and some of you they shall cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake.
18 But there shall not a hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
20 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them that are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let them that are in the midst of it depart out, and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 “And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars; and upon the earth distress among nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.
26 Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and for looking upon those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”
29 And He spoke to them a parable: “Behold the fig tree and all the trees.
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that Day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
37 And in the daytime He was teaching in the temple; and at night He went out and stayed on the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.
38 And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple to hear Him.
Lord our God, grant that we may heed and keep your laws, commandments and statutes, that our peace may be like a river and our righteousness like the waves of the sea. Be with us through your Spirit, we pray. Speak with us and tell us what we need to hear so that we can understand what draws us always nearer to you. Show the might of your hand to help us and all people. Even under judgment we shall not despair, we shall not lose courage because of troubles and distress. Come with your strength lord God we pray, that we may grow strong to overcome the world through Jesus Christ the Saviour. Amen.
(36) Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The “praying always” that Jesus commands in Luke 21:36affects every part of our Christian lives. It is the tool that God gives us to be in constant contact with Him so that we can truly bring every thought into captivity, under the control of God (II Corinthians 10:5). We are encouraged to make bold use of this tool for our every need (Hebrews 4:16). We need to explore some of the important implications that striving to pray always—praying at all times—has on this life to which God has called us.
In Luke 21:36, Christ also commands us to “watch.” The underlying Greek word stresses the need to be alert or on guard. This fits with a major requirement of Christian life, that we examine ourselves. We are to be alert to those things about ourselves that will disqualify us from entering God’s Kingdom so that we can change them.
Self-examination is such an important spiritual activity that God includes it as a major part of one of His seven festivals, the Feast of Unleavened Bread. II Corinthians 13:5 exhorts, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” Our ongoing efforts to submit to God’s laws and standards are evidence that Christ and His faith are in us (James 2:18).
God always gives us choices (Deuteronomy 30:19). Consider the example of Jonah. He could have done exactly what God asked of him, but instead, he rebelled, having to suffer an intense trial to bring him to obedience to God’s will. Notice, however, that God’s purpose never changed. The only variable was how much pain and suffering Jonah chose to experience before he submitted to God’s purpose. Initially, he chose rebellion and trials over submission to God.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.