Watching and Praying
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. — Mark 13:33
It is the time of our Lord’s coming again to which these words refer. He is coming; but when, no one can know. He will come suddenly, without warning. Since, then, we cannot know what moment the Lord may appear, we must “take heed, watch and pray,” lest He come and surprise us unprepared. This does not mean that we are always to be talking and thinking of the event and waiting for it in dreamy idleness and useless gazing. What Christ wants us to do is so to live at all times that His coming at any moment of the day or night will not find us unready.
For one thing, we should be sure of our personal salvation. If we are not saved now we should instantly see to the matter; for He may come the next hour, and there will be no time then to seek salvation. We should keep our work faithfully done, day by day, leaving nothing unfinished any evening; for before morning He may come. We should live at peace with all men, never allowing the sun to go down on our wrath or on any enmity or bitterness; for before another day dawns He may come, and we would not want Him to come and find us in strife and bitterness. We should be careful what we do any hour; for he may come suddenly and find us in sin. We should watch where we go, least His coming may surprise us in some place where we would not want Him to find us.
This truth, kept ever as a living force in our consciousness, would be the weightiest motive to faithfulness in every duty, and watchfulness against every sin. His coming will be so sudden and so unexpected that there will be no time then to set wrong things right, to finish uncompleted tasks, to get sin-stains washed out, to undo evil deeds. The only safe way to live is to make each task complete — a fit ending for all of life.