The hope of Christ should change absolutely everything about our lives. It should rock the very core of our being, prompting us to live inspired lives. It is this message that Paul the apostle boldly proclaimed to the Thessalonian church.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11. Reflect on 1 Thessalonians 5:8–11:
“But because we are of the day, we must be sober, by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation, because God did not appoint us for wrath, but for the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live at the same time with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as indeed you are doing” (LEB).
Elaborating on his analogy of light and darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5–7), Paul further encourages the Thessalonian church to live as people of “the day.” They are to live in the light of Christ—as people who embody Jesus’ values, sacrificially loving God and loving others. Christians are to live in the full freedom of the salvation Jesus offers.
Often the message of the Bible is portrayed as one of wrath and anger. But God does not desire for anyone to bear the full weight of sin—instead, he has appointed Christ to die on our behalf, so that we may experience unmerited grace (compare John 3:16–17; Isaiah 52:13–53:12). God has made a way for us to enter into relationship with him. And that is a message that should never get old and can never be said too often.
As Christians, we should take up the call of faith like a breastplate of protection; we should embrace the message of hope like a helmet. God’s love and grace is all the safety we need (compare 1 Thessalonians 5:1–4).
The gospel of Jesus is so powerful that it transcends this life. It is not just grace for the living, but also for all believers who have died. Resurrection is available to all who believe. When Jesus returns all who have died will be resurrected, to a new and eternal life with him.
It is this wonderful and glorious message that inspires Paul to tell the church at Thessalonica: “Encourage one another and build up each other.” The message of Christ is so encouraging, yet we far often use it as a weight or measure against others. Let us instead wrap others in the love of Christ—inspiring them to live inspired lives for Jesus.
In what ways is your life “uninspired”—how can you change that through prayer? Who do you know that needs to receive the full grace of Christ today—so that they can be inspired to live an inspired life?
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