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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | God’s Presence in Watchfulness

Every military family knows how it feels to wait for the return of their active-duty loved one. They don’t know the exact day or hour when their family member will return, so they stay prepared, eager, and watchful. The family’s anticipation for their loved one’s homecoming mirrors our watchfulness for Christ’s return.

In Matthew 24:42–51, Jesus calls us to a state of constant watchfulness in the light of His coming physical presence. Here, Jesus emphasizes the importance of being prepared. Like a homeowner who doesn’t know when a thief might strike, we must stay alert (v. 43). We are encouraged to keep our spiritual house in order and stay alert for the signs of His coming.

In addition, the parable of the two servants urges us to use our God- given gifts wisely and responsibly (vv. 45–51). The faithful and wise servant, who is ready when his master returns, is contrasted with the wicked servant, who lets his guard down. Jesus states that the master “will come on a day when he does not expect him” (v. 50).

The Lord’s presence is not just a comforting past experience or simply a future hope. Rather, it’s an everyday reality that calls us to a higher standard of living in the present. In the busyness of our lives, we may be tempted to become like the unwise servant, complacent, and negligent of our duties. But the Lord calls us to live differently—to stay awake, keep watch, and act responsibly.

Living with anticipation transforms us. It turns our waiting into watchfulness, our complacency into alertness, and our responsibilities into acts of faithfulness, not rituals. Ask yourself today how eagerly you are looking for the return of Jesus. Seek tangible ways that the Lord’s presence can empower you to stay awake, live wisely, and remain faithful.

Go Deeper

What changes would you make if you knew the Lord would return today? What would shift? What would you stop? What would you begin?

Pray with Us: Lord, thank You for the important principles You revealed in today’s parables. May we heed them and stay watchful, be alert for the signs of Your Coming, live wisely, and remain faithful.

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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