#DailyDevotions Be Sober & Awake For The Coming Of Our LORD Jesus
1Thess. 56Let us not sleep, then, like the others, but be awake and sober. 7People sleep at night and get drunk at night. 8But let us who live in the daylight be sober and put on faith and love as a breastplate and the sure hope of salvation as a helmet. 9God didn’t appoint us to be punished by His anger but to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10Who died for us so that, awake or asleep, we may live with Him. 11Then encourage one another and strengthen one another just as you are doing.
Jesus in Matt. 25 says, 13“Keep awake, then, because you don’t know the day or the hour.” St. Paul agrees with Jesus when he tells us to not sleep like the others but be awake and sober. Neither is telling to never go to sleep as some early church people thought and spent long nights at vigil maybe taking short naps with someone watching to wake them up in case Jesus returned.
What does it mean to sleep then? To sleep is to be like the rest of the world not trusting in the one true living God, Jesus Christ and to think only of oneself or one’s own selfish desires. It is to be the center of the universe and thinking everything depends on you. It is having people, places, and things as the center of your universe other than God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
Paul tells us to be awake and sober. To be sober is to be thinking clearly. Now Paul is on one had actually telling us not to get drunk. He certainly admonishes us to do that in other letters. We live in the daylight. We know God sees and knows everything no matter it is light outside or dark outside. Nothing can escape his sight. So Paul tells us to be sober and awake which is to “put on faith and love as a breastplate and the sure hope of salvation as a helmet.”
Faith is trusting in the one true living God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What do we trust them for? We trust they care for us in our daily lives. Jesus tells us the Father knows what we need before we ask him so pray like the Lord’s Prayer which he gave us. He tells us our earthly fathers give us good gifts, i.e. bread, fish and the like, how much more will our Father give us His Holy Spirit. We trust God our Father has provided us his Son Jesus Christ to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We trust Jesus has reconciled us to the Father. Since this is so, we believe God our Father loves us. It is this faith and love which are our breastplate which protects our hearts from all the fiery darts of the devil and from all his strikes against us.
Our sure and certain hope which is the helmet of salvation is Jesus Christ and all his works. We can be sure and certain the work of Jesus Christ is all sufficient. Being God in the flesh He obeyed the Father perfectly in our stead. He then offered himself as a pure and perfect sacrifice on the cross, receiving in himself the due penalty for our sins. Such is the sober and clear thinking we must and can have in Jesus. God has indeed appointed us to escape his wrath and anger through faith in Jesus Christ.
Now Paul pulls up asleep and awake and he’s referring back to chapter 4 where those who sleep are with the LORD Jesus. We live with him whether present here or present there. We are called to encourage one another with these words—which means we gather together as his Church.
Heavenly Father grant that we may live watchfully and soberly as we await the coming of your Son Jesus Christ with faith, hope and love from him and live in the light of your eternal presence. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.