Jeremiah 19:1-20:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11; Psalms 81:8-16; Proverbs 19:26
NT: “But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11 CSB)
In 1978, Keith Green released a song entitled “Asleep in the Light.” In the song, Keith Green lamented the casual and apathetic attitude many believers had toward obeying the great commission. In the song, he sang, “The world is sleeping in the dark that the church just can’t fight, ‘cause it’s asleep in the light. How can you be so dead when you’ve been so well fed? Jesus rose from the grave, and you – you can’t even get out of bed.”
Paul wanted to make sure that the readers of this letter to the Thessalonians did not allow themselves to go to sleep in the light. Instead, Paul wanted them to be awake, alert and expectant – ready to meet the Lord our Master whenever He returned. No one knows when the Lord will return, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be caught by surprise. In Matthew 25, Jesus told a parable of ten bridesmaids. The bridesmaids were charged with meeting the groom when he came for his bride – but the groom was delayed. Five of the bridesmaids were alert and prepared, while five took a very casual attitude about the arrival of the groom and were not prepared. Late at night, when the groom finally appeared, the prepared bridesmaids were able to meet the groom and go with him into the wedding banquet. The lazy and unprepared bridesmaids missed their opportunity and were locked out of the wedding… because they did not know the day or the hour.
When we get up in the morning, we get dressed and prepare ourselves for all that the day will bring. Paul wrote that as children of the light and children of the day, we need to wake up and get dressed. The clothes that we put on are faith, love and hope. Faith in Christ… faith in God’s word, will and ways… faith in Christ’s instructions becomes alive and active in our lives as we obey all that Christ has called us to do. The love that we have for God… the love that we have for Christ… the love of God that is released in us by grace motivates us to obey all that Christ has called us to do. The sure hope of our salvation… the sure hope of our great inheritance in Christ… the sure hope of our eternal future with Christ protects us from fear and discouragement as we set out to obey all that Christ has called us to do.
Staying awake in the light is all about not being lazy and careless with what Christ has done or us and called us to do. It is all about stewarding what Christ has done for us and obeying what He has called us to do. We have been saved from darkness and the evils from the world, so we need to press on in faith as we continue being conformed into the holiness of Christ and not get entangled again in sin. We have been given a great command and a great commission: Love God, love others, preach and demonstrate the gospel, and make disciples. Daytime is the time for doing work, and there is work to be done by grace through faith. If we stay awake in the light of day, then whenever Christ returns (whether we are still alive or have passed on) we will be ready to meet Him and join Him at the wedding banquet of the Lamb.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for all that You have done for me, and for the great riches and blessing that I have in You. You have paid it all, so all to You I owe. I have been bought with a price, and my life is now Yours. You have adopted me into Your family and have given me a position in the family business. Help me to steward all that You have given me and lovingly obey all that You have called me to do. I choose to stay awake in the light. Help me to do that by grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.