Enduring Love

Luke 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

II Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15a And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;

MEMORY VERSE: Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. —James 5:8

CENTRAL THOUGHT: Although the promise of Christ returning again was made so many years ago, the time of waiting and tarrying in which we live is a sign of His longsuffering; during which time we should remain ready, be diligent, keep busy serving Him, do what it takes to keep our lights burning, and patiently wait and endure unto the very end.


Luke 12:35 “Let your loins be girded about”: “Your attitude in life must be that of servants, at once loyal and devoted, whom their employer has left in his house while he is absent at a great wedding-feast. The day of his absence passes into evening, and evening shades into night; and even the night wears slowly and tediously away, and still the master of the house comes not back from his festival. But the faithful servants all this while never slumber, or even lie down to rest. All the time of his absence, with their loose flowing Eastern robes taken up, and the skirt fastened under the girdle, with their lamps all trimmed and burning, these watchers wait the coming of their lord, though he tarry long, that they may be ready to receive him and serve him the moment he arrives. All kinds of busy house service, too, carried on during the long night of watching, is implied by the girt-up robes and the lit lamps of the tireless watchers” (Pulpit Commentary).

Luke 12:38 “Second watch”: from 9 p.m. to 12 midnight. “Third watch”: from midnight to 3 a.m.

II Peter 3:12 “Looking for and hasting”: looking for and earnestly desiring (the same words Paul used in II Corinthians 5:2!). “Melt”: loosed.


The Lord gave several parables illustrating the manner of His coming and the responsibility of His servants to be ready and waiting. In Matthew 24 He gave the parable of the fig tree, compared the conditions at the time of His coming to the time of Noah, and made an analogy using a master and servants to represent Him and His kingdom. In chapter 25 He depicted His kingdom as ten virgins who waited for the bridegroom to come and give them entrance to the wedding feast. They were to be alert and with lamps burning when he returned. Five of them were wise and prepared enough oil to supply them through a long delay; the other five foolishly presumed that all would be well and they could deal with a need for extra oil at the last minute. It is this parable that seems to be the background of the first verse in today’s lesson, “Let your lights be burning.” In the same chapter Jesus gave another analogy of a householder and servants; in this one the master went away and entrusted each of his servants with a sum of money which they were to invest and gain a profit to give him when he returned. He compared the judgment scene at His return to a shepherd separating his sheep from the goats. Finally, He told what it would take for Him to say to His servant, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom…” and what would make Him have to say, “Depart from me, ye cursed.”

Peter questioned the Lord as He spoke about the day and the hour of His coming. Jesus again compared the time of waiting on His return to a household of servants expecting their master to return any time. When he seemed to delay, some of the servants got unruly and began to fight with each other and indulge in drunkenness. This warning may have been what Peter had in mind when he reminded the saints of the danger of becoming scornful and fleshly-minded when it looked like the coming of the Lord just wasn’t happening. He repeated Jesus’ words, “A thief in the night,” when he described that last day.

Our memory verse is from James’ epistle, exhorting us to be patient and have our hearts established as we keep in mind that Jesus’ coming is near.

Waiting for Jesus to come again was the theme of the apostles’ writings. As time went on, professors of the faith of Jesus have proven Jesus’ warnings true: the time of delay is the most dangerous test. We are tempted to become sleepy, unbelieving, unmerciful, quarrelsome, intemperate, and slothful. The abounding iniquity around us will make our fervent love for Christ and one another slowly grow cold, but frequently contemplating and reminding ourselves of Jesus’ counsel to “watch and be ready” will keep our love fervent and our souls on guard.

“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ” (II Thessalonians 3:5).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What three things are we to observe in Luke 12:35-36?
  2. What reward is promised in Luke 12:37 and what does this mean to you?
  3. What dangers are posed by the delay?
  4. Peter warned us not to be ignorant of an important fact about God. What is it, and how will this knowledge help us understand the importance of being ready?
  5. List the five things in Peter’s description of Jesus’ coming.
  6. What two things are to be part of our attitude toward Jesus’ coming?


This concludes our series, “My Soul, Wait Thou Only Upon God.” What have we learned?

We have considered the long years of waiting for the fullness of time of the Messiah endured by the ancient people of God, and have seen that God keeps His promises.

In spirit we have waited with the saints in their trials and afflictions, as they cried, “How long?” and have been comforted by the promises that God will bring salvation and deliverance.

We have seen the necessity of waiting for the fire of the Holy Spirit to fall on us and endue us with power.

We have been convicted that we cannot depend upon ourselves, but must wait on God for wisdom and direction in all the decisions of life.

We have learned more fully of the spirit of watching and waiting so necessary for intercessory prayer.

In that same spirit we have realized that the God who sustains all creation will also supply our needs and fulfill our hearts’ desires as we wait expectantly on Him.

The concept of waiting taught us by a tiny seed has encouraged us to be faithful until the harvest.

Realizing that we cannot judge even the slightest matters righteously, we have learned to wait for the Lord’s time and method of judgment.

Acknowledging that we can’t minister God’s Word unless we are sent by Him, we have seen the worth of waiting on God to open the doors of ministry.

In the night seasons of life we have been comforted by the promises and counsels of God as we wait for the light of morning.

The cries of saints, both present and ancient, who have suffered according to the will of God, meekly trusting and waiting on God to avenge them, have challenged us to a deeper consecration.

Our faith and endurance has been fueled by the reminder of the glorious redemption of the resurrection, for which we wait and hope.

Finally, our vigilance and determination has been bolstered by the admonition to be alert and ready, even through the dangerous time of delay; earnestly desiring the return of our Lord.

I want to end by pointing to verse 37 in Luke 12: “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” Brother and sister, this is why we wait. If we can keep this picture before us, with all the beauty and glory contained therein; if we can serve Him faithfully, depend on Him trustfully, endure patiently, and hope confidently, we shall not be disappointed. There is coming a day when all that is now mysterious will be bright and clear, when our labors are over and our waiting is fulfilled, and we shall see the end of the Lord. We will experience what we cannot now even see, hear or imagine.

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:35 -37).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


While we eagerly await the Lord’s return, let us be up and doing. Here are a few ways we can busy ourselves to be ready when Jesus comes to get His bride:

  • Keep your lamp trimmed and burning, daily. Maintain an up-to-date experience with the Lord. There will be no time for mercy on that last day. Thus, we must have the blood of the Savior on the doorposts of our hearts NOW.
  • Thank the Lord for the present world we reside in. Thank Him for the love of family and friends and the beautiful Church of God. Take time each day to praise the Lord for the magnificent wonder of the earth and environment in which we live. Be thankful for the beauty of the seasons, the wonder of the animals and nature itself.
  • Keep your eyes on the sky. Take time to ponder on the things ahead. Encourage yourself in the Lord by looking into his Word and thinking about the wonders of the new heaven and the new earth that will be enjoyed for all eternity. Foster hope and excitement in your soul.
  • Have a determination to point as many souls as possible to Jesus. “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus the mighty to save.” The Judgment Day will usher all souls into eternity. There will be no turning back, nor will we be able to speak of it as a historical event. We must be sober and vigilant, but may we also view this final happening with great anticipation.

—Sis. LaDawna Adams