Letters to the Thessalonians

This devotional is written by Alex Perkin.

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:1-11

5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Reflection

I've been making a concerted effort to grow courgettes and tomatoes in the small patch of land outside our flat which we call our 'shared garden'. And when I say concerted, I mean over watering and hoping for the best.

I'm enjoying seeing these plants blossom and grow in the sun and become that which they are made to be. In due course they (should) bear fruit and we'll enjoy delicious said courgettes and tomatoes. And, whilst you'll have to forgive the perhaps crude analogy, so it is with us.

This passage talks of us all being "children of the light and children of the day" who "do not belong to the night or to the darkness" (Verse 5).

We do well when we live in the light - that is, being filled with the Holy Spirit and following Jesus (who is the light of the world) - which, in turn, brings light and life to ourselves and those around us.

The house plants we also tend really don't like dark, enclosed, indoor spaces such as the windowless bathroom we've given them. Likewise, we as people don't flourish and grow in dark places - that is, away from God's presence and light in the darkness of our own self pity, destructive thought patterns, pain and slumber, and in the shadow of other people's bitterness, gossip, unkindness, and pride.

"But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." (Verse 8).

As children of the light, God's light lives in us, and he is transforming our hearts and minds from within to reflect His light to others, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking God's truth over our lives and others.

As 'children of the light' it also means choosing to clothe ourselves with faith, hope and love - a breastplate and helmet of protection against the World's darkness - which means honouring one another, encouraging one another, and building each other up (verse 11) at church, at work, at home, etc.

It's in this context - in the light of the day - that we blossom and grow and become that which we are made to be. We'll bear fruit - akin to the courgettes and tomatoes I'm hoping for - and see faith, hope and love grow in us and those around us.

PRAY
Be filled with the Spirit once again and with faith, hope and love.
Put on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Ask for Jesus’ light in you to not be hidden but shine for all to see

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