Being Christian requires awareness—both self-awareness and awareness of what’s happening in the world. God is on the move, always; we must be aware of where and how he is moving. Paul reflects on this point in his letter to the Thessalonians.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11. Reflect on 1 Thessalonians 5:5–7:
“For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. So then, we must not sleep like the rest, but must be on the alert and be self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night” (LEB).
Just before this passage, Paul notes that Jesus will return at an unknown future time. He also notes that Jesus’ return will surprise those who do not follow him (1 Thessalonians 5:1–4). Paul now turns his attention to how Christians should live—today.
Believers in Jesus must remember their identity in Christ—as sons of light (compare John 1:4–14). We represent God to a world living in darkness, of sin and illusion. There is an illusion of security and peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3). There is the illusion that sinning is actually a trivial matter (1 Thessalonians 4:1–8). We must remind people in our hurting world that Jesus came not to condemn them, but to save them (John 3:17). And that life with Jesus is so much better than what sin and illusions of security can offer.
It is easy for us to become complacent, like those sleeping the day away. Paul tells us that we must instead be alert and self-controlled. We must be aware and present—ready to do the work of Christ. We must walk away from temptation and embrace the calling of Christ on our life (1 Thessalonians 5:6–7).
Our world is hurting and in need—will we answer the call?
In what ways has your walk as a Christian become like someone sleeping on the job? How can you be more aware of the needs of your community and our world?
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