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Summary: One of the most wonderful gifts of God is the gift of anticipation (hope). Anticipation transforms our waiting into a wonder filled experience.

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Mark 13:24-37 “The Miracle of Anticipation”

INTRODUCTION

Waiting is often the bane of our existence—waiting in an endless line, waiting while caught in traffic, waiting while someone gets ready. Waiting, however, with anticipation brings spice to our lives—waiting to open Christmas gifts, waiting to go on a trip or vacation, waiting for the birth of a child.

God has blessed us with a wonderful gift—the miracle of anticipation. We are invited to live each day in anticipation of Jesus’ return. The challenge that we have is to accept this invitation and live out its implications in our daily lives.

BE ALERT

The disciples were impressed with the architectural splendor of the Temple. Jesus reminds them that it is temporal and will pass away. Jesus talks to them about the end times, points out the tender shoots of a fig tree, and challenges them to be alert. Part of living in anticipation is to be alert.

Often we are so occupied with the details of our daily lives that we are oblivious to the outside happenings.

At other times, we run on autopilot; coasting through life, and not aware of the people or things that surround us.

As Christians—living in anticipation—we need to be aware of our world, knowledgeable of the gospel message, and sensitive to the needs of the people around us.

BE TRUSTING

Cataclysmic events will take place during the end times. Jesus shares a prophecy with the disciples about the sun being darkened, the moon not giving light, stars falling from the sky, and the shaking of heavenly bodies. The end times can be frightful times.

Jesus wants to assure the disciples that God is with them during these terrible times. The world is not out of control. These events have been predicted. God is not sleeping, rather God is moving behind the scenes.

God is with us. Living in anticipation is living in the faith and trust that God is an intimate part of our lives.

ANTICIPATE THE PROMISE

Jesus has promised that he will return. He has not told us when, but he has assured us that he is coming back. When Jesus comes back, he will do so with a mighty demonstration of his power.

When Jesus returns the struggle between good and evil will be ended.

When Jesus returns, our personal dilemmas and struggles will be resolved.

We live each day that God’s power will be revealed.

CONCLUSION

God has given us a great gift—the gift of anticipation.

Let us experience this gift abundantly in our lives and use it fully.

Amen


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