Growing up, my grandparents had a trailer in Florida for the winter and we would use it in the summer. I loved playing on the beach in the sand and in the water. One year, my dad was on a rubber raft just floating along. We were surprised how far the tide would take him down the beach. Until one day, he was so far out the lifeguards tried to whistle him in but he couldn’t hear. Eventually, my dad was so far out they called the coast guard to come and get him and bring him in. We thought it was funny but he was a little embarrassed.

Similarly, most Christians don’t turn from Jesus, they drift. Especially when a man or woman has served Jesus in the same place doing the same thing, it is easy to become complacent. We get our eyes of Jesus and on everything around us.

Jesus concluded His teaching on His return and challenged His followers to watch for His return. This is what He said…

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. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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. And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him. (Luke 21:34-38)

Watching for Jesus keeps our attention on Him and not the things around us. Since we don’t know when, we need to be ready any time. What does a watching Christian look like?

1 – GUARD.

Jesus warned His disciples to be aware of what may ‘load down’ their heart. The Greek word behind surfeiting is often translated gluttony. Drunkenness is too much alcohol. The ‘cares of this life’ are the anxieties that life brings. Jesus warns not to let your hearts be loaded down in ‘food, intoxication, and anxieties.

1 in 4 car accidents are caused by distracted driving. It might seem like a harmless 5 second task to read and reply to a message but 5 seconds is more than enough time to cause a fatal accident. In 5 seconds at 55 mph, you will travel the length of a football field. A 7 year old boy was left paralyzed from the diaphragm down after he was hit by a woman who was texting and driving. Distracted driving is dangerous, but distracted living is lethal. We need to be on guard against distracted living by not allowing anything to keep our eyes off Jesus.

What do you need to do to get rid of the sin in your life so you can watch for Jesus?

2 – PRAY.

We need to pray diligently and faithfully. Though believers do not need to fear the return of Christ, we still need to be constant in prayer so our hearts are ready when it comes. Prayer focuses our attention on things that really matter.

Once there was a rich man who had a son to whom he promised an annual allowance. Every year on the same day, he would give his son the entire amount. After a while, it happened that the only time the father saw his son was on the day of allowance. So the father changed his plan and only gave the son enough for the day. Then the next day the son would return. From then on, the father saw his son every day. This is the way God deals with us.

We often think that what messes up our Christian life is what we do. We sow and reap sin. But often what messes up our Christian life is that we don’t do what we should, like prayer. Prayer is so simple but it is so effective in keeping our hearts right with God. Spend time in prayer. Pray for endurance and freedom from distractions. Pray to resist and overcome temptations.

2 – GO.

Having talked of His return, Jesus did what He expects us to do. He returned to His daily routine of faithful service. He taught in the Temple. The final step we can take to make sure we are watching for the Lord’s return is to go and do what we should be doing anyway.

Colonel Davenport was Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives. On May 19th, 1780 the sky of Hartford darkened ominously, and some of the representatives, glancing out the windows, feared the end was at hand. Davenport rose and said, “The Day of Judgment is either approaching or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for adjournment. If it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. Therefore, I wish that candles be brought.” Rather than fearing what is to come, we are to be faithful till Christ returns.

We think the big tasks are most important. However, it is the daily tasks, done faithfully, that make the biggest impact. Work faithfully at the tasks God has given you. Be good and faithful.

When I was a kid, and even as an adult, I loved playing ‘Hide & Seek.’  One person was IT, and the rest went to hide.  We had ‘ground rules’ but after a few countings to 100, and we were all hid, IT would yell ‘Ready or not, here I come.’  It was fun being IT, but it was equally fun hiding. The return of Christ is similar to the game ‘Hide and Seek.’  Four things about Jesus and the guy who was IT: (1) He’s coming. (2) He’s coming when he’s ready. (3) He’s coming whether you’re ready or not. (4) If you’re not ready, then you’ll pay the consequences. Are you ready?