So much going on in today's world and sometimes it gets tiresome trying to keep up with it and make sense of people, places and events. Following current events and reading history is obviously one of my favorite activities but at times, even I get a little tired at times. It is very tempting to retreat into the personal realm and take a more passive approach to life. But something always seems to jar me out of that state of mind.
Usually it is an event in the Middle East or Europe that will do this. But the most recent was while reading through the Gospel of Mark and I noted how many times Christ urged His followers to "watch" what was gong on in their world.
Here is what he said in Mark 13:7-8: "When you hear of war and rumors of war, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginning of sorrows."
You will have to read a few newspapers and keep up on the internet news sites to do this.
Verse 14: "So when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not" (let the reader understand), "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains."
This will require a reading of history, the Bible and geography to fully understand in its context and end time fulfillment. You will have to dig a little deeper on this one.
Verse 19: "For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, no nor ever shall be."
Once again you'll need to have paid attention in world history class to know how to interpret this one. He means it will be "bad times times three"!
Verse 22: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
How much do you understand about the role of religion and sectarian strife in history? Religious wars have been the scourge of mankind since the beginning. Most Americans have little understanding of the world's great religions. If you are going to avoid the type of religious deception foretold by Jesus you must know something about the world's faiths.
In verses 33-37 Christ says to watch, pray and then watch some more. He says that things are happening around you. People have been left with a charge to keep an idea alive and focused. That idea is the Kingdom of God, the fundamental truth Christ came announcing (Mark 1:14). The kingdom of God was the central focus of Christ's life and work. He said it was time to repent and live by the terms of that eternal kingdom.
Christ's followers will be watchful, always keeping one eye on the work at hand and the other firmly fastened on the future horizon waiting, and watching, for the arrival of the King. The last thing we want to found doing is sleeping!
Reading these words in Mark are a sharp reminder to not fall asleep on the job given to all of us. It is easy to get caught up in our busy lives and lose the sharp focus of the coming kingdom of God. There is a lot going on in our larger world and we all need to keep watching. "Sleeping" through life is not an option that Christ gives His disciples.
Impending Food Fight
If you wonder why the price of groceries is going up every time you go to the grocery store then this column by Victor Davis Hanson gives some explanation. Not only is it because the price of fuel keeps going up, but it is due to the growing demand for corn.
We are turning more corn into biofuel which puts a premioum on the crop which is used to feed cows and chickens. Corn is the basis for sweetners and oil as well. It is found throughout the food cycle.
The era of cheap food maybe over.
Could Egypt See an Uprising Similar to Gaza?
In the wake of Hamas' takeover of Gaza some in the Egyptian press are warning the Muslim Brotherhood cold do the same in Egypt. The Brotherhood is much larger than Hamas and holds several seats in the Egyptian parliament. They are well entrenched throughout the Middle East. It is something to note.
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