Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. ~1 Thessalonians 5:6
As a kid, I looked forward to sleeping in late on Saturday mornings and when there was no school. It was a contest among the boys I grew up with as to who slept in the latest. As I got into sixth grade, I realized that I needed to be disciplined in my sleeping habits in order to make the most out of my days. Our passage this morning is an exhortation about how we should live our lives knowing that Jesus is coming soon.
We must be alert.
“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” Sleep is a necessary part of good health. However, sleeping when we should be awake is not good. Alertness requires us to be vigilant. We are to be like a watchman on the wall, looking for signs of enemy activity. Alertness means we should consider the trends. Alertness means we should consider shifts. Alertness means we should stay sharp and crisp. Soberness means we do not allow ourselves to be overcome as a drunken man is when he is intoxicated. We must be alert.
We must be appareled.
“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” The breastplate guarded the heart and chest area. We must exercise more faith. We must do more praying in faith. We must exercise compassion and love for the lost and for those who are the family of God. Guard your heart from unbelief, cynicism, bitterness, and malice. Then, we must guard our thoughts. The helmet of salvation protects us from thinking negative thoughts. It keeps us reminded that Jesus never fails. It helps us remember that all things work together for good to them that love God. We must be appareled.
We must be active.
“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” Live for Jesus as if He is coming today! Don’t leave any question in the mind of people who see or know you whether or not you are a committed disciple of Christ. Be a fervent witness of the gospel. Be busy making a difference and not just being busy. Be the most faithful member in church. Don’t be afraid to do more for the Lord. Don’t complain when the load is heavy and you have a lot to do. Be zealous in good works.
We must be anticipating.
Jesus is coming soon! First, look for His appearing. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." Each day that goes by draws us closer to His coming. Second, love His appearing. Just like the anticipation we have of coming home to our loved ones, we should have a deep longing in us of going home to Jesus. Loving His appearing makes the trials and difficulties in this life less complicated and cumbersome.
Let us be careful of being asleep when we must be awake and ready. When Ernest Shackleton returned to rescue his men in Antarctica, he asked them how it was that they were ready for him. They told him that, every morning, the leader of the men would say, “Get your things ready, boys, the boss may come today.” Be ready because it could be today that Jesus will come.
Have a watchful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Nehemiah 10-11