2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
As covered in last Friday’s devotional, Paul writes in the paragraph (1 Thes 4:13-18) before today’s verse about what will happen when God comes again, how all followers of Jesus will be brought to His side, and tells the believers to be encouraged by the eventual prospect of being reunited with God and being with Him forever. Paul then says in today’s verse he will not discuss specifics (“we do not need to write to you”) as to the timing of Jesus’ return (“day of the Lord”) because believers already know that it will be an unexpected moment like a thief coming in the night.
However, he says, followers of Christ whose hope in life is exactly the fact that Jesus will come again should not be caught unaware, unprepared or unguarded “like others, who are asleep” (verse 6) even if the exact timing is uncertain. This means when God comes back whenever He does, believers should not be anxious, panicking or scrambling about what He will do/say then, what will happen to us and what we should be doing. In fact Paul tells the readers to live “awake and sober” lives, “putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and hope of salvation as a helmet” (verse 8). This sounds a lot like being soldiers standing by ready to fight knowing the battle is coming and they need to be equipped and prepared, able to launch out whenever the command comes. Paul ends this section by telling them to continue to encourage and build up each another.
So it is with us today. We too know very well Jesus is coming again – that is the entire basis of our hope in God that He will make all things right in the end and we have heard this repeatedly. We are also quite aware that we do not know when He is coming, as many have tried to predict unsuccessfully. Let us respond to Paul’s exhortation to be like soldiers developing and maintaining a state of readiness waiting for the King to return. This means help each other along to live and move with purpose and expectation, helping one another develop confidence in His care for us, and supporting the discovery of and participation in His plans for us here in the meantime. Until He comes again.
Thoughts for the day
On a spectrum of “Not at all” on one end and “Yes, absolutely” on the other, how are you letting your confidence in God’s character, assurance of His love and care for you, and the knowledge of your eternal security, drive your life movement?
- If your answer leans towards “Not at all,” take a moment to acknowledge that before God and ask Him to grow you in your awareness and experience of Him, so that you can better understand what living and moving for Him means. Who can you speak with to understand how he/she experiences God?
- If your answer leans towards “Yes, absolutely,” ask God to encourage you more, directly and through anything and anybody He chooses, to keep you inclined in that direction. Also, what does it look like for you to encourage and support your brothers and sisters in Christ to be live for God well?
Dear God and Heavenly Father, there are so many things that my head knows about you, but the portion that has translated into actual life impact is far from where it should be. Affect my soul Lord, I want to be able to move freely, willingly, intentionally and continually in your direction and through the path you have put in front of me. Help me to help other believers as I go on my journey. Amen