Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #206 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 21 today and our focus is on  Watch and Pray: How to Be Ready For The Return of Jesus. + What is Real Giving? .  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in South Australia, Bihar, India, Parts unknown, Malaysia, parts unknown, Italy, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Salinas, California, Phoenix, Arizona, and Des Moines, Iowa. Word of Mouth – tell a friend! Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

Let’s open with a simple question with a simple answer: What is real giving? Jesus gives us a beautiful picture of this when He commends the widow and her tiny offering in Luke 21. First, He shows the disciples a group of rich people giving large sums of money into the temple treasury, and then He shows the disciples a widow, who only puts in two tiny coins. Then He gives us some Jesus-math, which is quite different and better than modern math:

“Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them.For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3-4

Numerically, what Jesus said doesn’t make sense – the rich put lots and lots of money into the offering, and this poor lady put only a tiny amount in – money that she would have needed to eat and live on. Jesus says that her tiny two coins were worth MORE than ALL of the offerings of the rich people PUT TOGETHER. How? Because she sacrificed more than they did, and that seems to be the essence of true giving in the eyes of Jesus.

Second topic: Preparing for the end times and the Second coming of Jesus. Have you ever prepared for an apocalypses of some kind? I say with some amount of chagrin and shame that in 1999, hearing all of the hype about Y2k and what that was to bring, I did some very, very minor hoarding to prepare, just in case. When I say minor hoarding, I mean very minor. I probably had an extra 15-20 gallons of water in the basement, and an extra 50 pounds of rice, or something like that. Very little, but way more than was needed, given how Y2k turned out. I also bought a case of 100 rolls of toilet paper on Amazon last year when here was a TP shortage in local stores. That case was actually pretty helpful, and kept us from getting into a tight spot for a couple of months there, but those two things are pretty much the extent of my major preparations for apocalypse. Am I taking things too seriously? Not seriously enough? Let’s see how Jesus calls His people to prepare for the end times, the Second Coming and the Great Tribulation by reading our chapter.

The major points of Jesus’ teaching on preparing for His return and the end times can be found in one verse:

36 But be alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 

Be alert (or, watch) and pray. This one verse doesn’t cover every single teaching Jesus has about the end times, but it is a most excellent summary of what He has to say. Watch for His coming, serving and following His will and PRAY as you watch that we might be able to stand firm when Jesus returns.

As Spurgeon points out:

Jesus ever practised what he preached. He said to his disciples, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always,” so he himself both watched and prayed.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Joyful Anticipation of the Second Advent,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 42 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896), 612.

Let’s do the same – watch and pray – His return might be imminent, or it might be far off, but there is nothing we can do to be ready that is better than alertly watching and praying continuously.

Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church, A Salinas, California Church.

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