I love road trips. I do some of my best thinking behind the wheel with an open road stretched out in front of me. While fun, a road trip can also be dangerous. More than once while on a trip, I have felt incredibly sleepy. When the sun makes everything warm and cozy, or when the hours of driving in the dark grow long, everything in my body just wants to sleep—right then! My mind is insistent, “You must not sleep now.” But my brain understands the consequences, and this warning keeps me safe. No matter how much I want to sleep, I must stay awake. Anything less will end in my destruction.
- What warnings have you heeded in your life for your own good?
READ THE WORD: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (ESV)
5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
- Addressing fellow believers, what did Paul say would happen while people were saying, “There is peace and security” (vss. 2-3)?
- How did Paul describe his brothers and sisters in the faith (vss. 4-5)?
- Paul instructed the people to be sober and to put on what (vss. 6-8)?
- What peace and comfort do we have in our salvation (vss. 9-10)? As children of the light and of the day, what should we do as we wait for Jesus’ return (vs. 11)?
- Would you describe yourself as being awake and sober, watchfully preparing and anticipating Christ’s return?
RESPOND TO GOD
At the time that Paul wrote this letter to the church of Thessalonica, it was a newly formed church working and growing together spiritually while facing persecution. Like me fighting to stay awake on a road trip, this new community of believers had to fight to keep their eyes on Christ and his salvation instead of the distractions around them. In doing so, they encouraged one another to stay awake.
- Thank God for Jesus, who died for you that you might live with him forever.
- Prayerfully ask God to help you be sober and put on faith, love, and the hope of salvation as you walk through your day.
- Ask God to surround you with other believers in Christ who will encourage you to stay awake.