1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 - Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 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. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 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. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Scripture often speaks of God's working with an element of surprise. The things He does He does in His own time, on His own terms, with no regard for our timetables or convenience. That being said, He does want us to be mindful of things that will come in time—like His future arrival—and above all, to be ready for it.
On this count, the apostle Paul felt like the Thessalonians were in good shape. They knew Jesus' return could happen "like a thief in the night," regardless of what the world around them looked like, or what people were saying. For the Thessalonians, Jesus' return was not going to catch them off guard. They were not going to be surprised. If God's Beloved Thief came into their household—no matter what the hour—they would be ready. Jesus would find them ready.
Waiting for our Savior is what we do as believers. We see the work of God as His Word makes inroads into people's lives all around the world. Some are encountering Him for the first time; others are taking a second look and finding their lives are changing, as God's Spirit brings them to repentance, creating a thirst for the living waters only Jesus can provide (see John 7:37-39).
Slowly, steadily, the fellowship of believers throughout the world grows as God's miraculous touch transforms lives of darkness into children of the light. "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him."
The thief is coming. May we all be ready when He does.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience and mercy in saving us. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Paul Schreiber.
1. When was the last time you were caught off guard and surprised? Was it funny? Was it disastrous?
2. Why does Scripture use the example of being drunk for those who aren't ready for Jesus' return?
3. How do you maintain a ready posture for Jesus' sudden arrival? Any tips you can share?
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