July 30, 2024

Night Time

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

—  1 Thessalonians 5:6

Where I live, the summer sun doesn’t set until late in the evening. When our children were young, they would sometimes say at bedtime, “We can’t go to bed yet. It’s not dark out.” They associated darkness with sleep. The apostle Paul does that too.

Paul contrasts day and night in two ways. First, people who reject Jesus or don’t know him live in darkness. They are unaware of Jesus’ promised second coming. And when he does return, Jesus will catch them off guard, “like a thief in the night.” Second, and sadly, people who are without Jesus are “asleep,” living in frustration and without hope. Christians, though, are awake in Jesus and should always walk by the light of the “Son.”

How does Paul suggest we live in the light? He advises us to prepare for daily struggles and be alert. Our daily battles with temptation and sin require faith in Jesus, and for our faith to grow we should spend time reading and reflecting on God’s Word, letting it permeate the deepest reaches of our hearts. We should also be faithful in prayer, “praying always” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

As our lives orbit around Jesus, his love in us will shine out to the people around us, especially to those without Jesus. Growing in faith and love will develop our hope as we serve Jesus and eagerly await his return.

Lord, thank you for awakening our hearts and letting us live for you in your light. Please move us to share your light and life with people who don’t know you. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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