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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Work and Watch!

Sept. 22, 2013

It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. (Mark 13:34, NIV)

I’m confident the disciples are having a difficult time understanding Jesus at this point. In this discourse on the future, Jesus is already talking about His return and He has not even left yet from His first coming to Earth.

They had asked Him about the end of the age and when the destruction of the temple would occur, little realizing His response would be lengthy and detailed. Jesus withheld His systematic teaching about the future until right at the end of His ministry. The disciples could not have understood it earlier, and even now were foggy in their understanding of His going away (as also reflected in John 14-17).

Jesus similarly does not disclose everything to us at the beginning of our walk with Him.

Clearly, some things we only see in retrospect. The original disciples and the entire Church would see it later — Jesus was identifying himself as the “man going away.” The house is His Church. We are the servants in charge and the watchpersons at the door.

I don’t think we should segregate these two functions of being “in charge” and “at the door to keep watch.” They comprise the two sides of our obligation as His followers.

The Church is going to be, to a very large extent, what we make it. Although the Holy Spirit graciously infuses and fills us at our request, what happens in the Lord’s church is largely left to us. Bad leadership, jealousy, strife, lack of vision, laziness, and petty squabbles — all that and more — mean the “house” falls into disrepair. On the other hand, where there is good leadership, vision, kindness, the fruit of the Spirit, decisions made from pure hearts — then the “house” prospers. We are more in charge than we think.

But, our task is not just to settle down in the house and decorate its walls and keep it clean. It is His house. He is returning to His house. We must be ever expectant that the Owner will return, so we must never think the house is ours. We are just keeping it ready, in tip-top shape, so that when He returns He will be delighted.

Watching was an important function in a Near Eastern home because robbers were always on the prowl. Watchmen served as the ancient version of an alarm system. The idea of a watchman is to keep watch for the owner’s approach so that the home is fully ready, but also to guard it against all intruders so that when the Owner returns He will find everything intact.

To the Ephesian elders, Paul warns them to be on guard because “savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!” (Acts 20:29-31).

Thus Paul focuses added emphasis regarding the true nature of a watchman — not only to look down the street to ascertain the approach of the Owner, but also to guard against anyone who will harm the house.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, help me to be on guard today, recognizing that You have put me in charge of myself and the responsibilities life has assigned me. May I carefully watch over what You have entrusted to me so that no loss, theft or spoilage occurs.

DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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