"Rise And Shine"
Stay Awake and Alert
One of my favorite parts of any day is the moment my head hits the pillow at night. There's just something about crawling into bed and getting comfortable after a long day of hard work which seems so satisfying. Maybe that's why Paul's warning to the Thessalonian church resonates with me so strongly.
"So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober ..." (1 Thess. 5:6–8a).
I love to sleep, but do I love to sleep spiritually? This verse shakes me out of bed, shouting, "Rise and shine, sleepy head!" Paul is talking about being ready for the day of the Lord here. Will I be awake and waiting when he returns or asleep and caught off guard? It's coming as a thief in the night. Like Kevin from Home Alone, are you alert and ready to defend your home from those who would try and break in?
A great way to stay awake is having someone with you to poke and prod you when you start to doze off. That's also Paul's advice here, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (1 Thess. 5:11). It reminds me of a 20-hour drive my wife and I made from Montana to Arizona, where we spent the entire trip talking and singing together. As my co-pilot, her job was to keep me awake and alert. So find a friend and be their co-pilot by keeping them talking about faith, love, and our hope of salvation. Nudge them (with love) to consider more excellent things (Phil. 4:8) whenever you see them nodding off.
Let Your Light Shine
And since we're awake, don't forget we have a job to do. That job is to shine! As Jesus said, "You are the light of the world ... let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:14–16). We walk in the light. We're children of the daytime. We reflect God's glory into the darkness of this world and expose evil. We share a relationship with God by staying awake and avoiding sin. And our mutual connection with him draws us into more meaningful relationships with each other (1 John 1:5-7).
The True Rest
As much as I love "hitting the sack" at the end of a long day, I'm looking forward even more to eternal rest at the end of a fruitful life of serving God! "So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God" (Heb. 4:9). Are you looking forward to that rest too?