Wednesday, December 02, 2015

The ready lifestyle

The Armor of God - Ephesians 6:10-18
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation." 1 Thessalonians 5:8

It was a Sunday just over four years ago that my daughter and I were discussing when I would make the three-hour trip to her home to help care for her toddlers when she went into labor. Because she was already a week overdue I favored coming up the next day (Monday), even though I would have to cover some obligations. But she had no sense that the baby would arrive any time soon and thought that if I came up Wednesday, after my commitments were done, that would be soon enough.

The next morning I opened my email to see: "Ok back and forth... I'm in labor. My water broke just before 1 a.m..." By eight that morning her little girl was born.

Birth, with its sudden and inescapable labor pains is one metaphor that Paul uses to illustrate how the the "Day of the Lord" will come. He also talks about that Day coming as unexpectedly as a thief.

But it shouldn't be a surprising event to those of us who have taken Jesus' and Paul's words to heart. Our passage today is one way we can live prepared. To do that, we need to:
  • Stay awake and watchful - 1 Thessalonians 5:6.
  • Stay sober (versus letting ourselves become inebriated by the alcohol and pot of our culture) - 1 Thessalonians 5:7-8.
  • Live with our armor on— the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation - 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

Leslyn Musch says about this preparation:
"Commit yourself to grow in your relationship with the Lord, which includes prayer, worship, and studying to understand the Bible. This is the lifestyle of the children of light who have salvation in Jesus" - "Truth-In-Action through 1 Thessalonians," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1690 (emphasis added).
I ask myself, do I live with my armour on in a ready lifestyle that is prepared for Jesus' return at any moment? Do you?

PRAYER: Dear God, You remind me repeatedly that You are returning and I need to be expectant and ready. Help me to live a ready lifestyle today. Amen.

MORE: Darker and brighter

"As we await our Savior’s return, let us keep on praying, working, and watching, while 'looking for the blessed hope'—our only hope for this world.

And for the hope of His return,

Dear Lord, Your name we praise;

With longing hearts we watch and wait

For that great day of days! —Sherwood

As this world gets darker, the promised return of God’s Son gets brighter."

- Richard De Haan, "Our Only Hope"

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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