Leah K
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How to Focus for the Day
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
How do we remain focused day after day?
Published August 24th, 2020
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Main point summary
Main point summary
Main Idea Summary: You are children of the light, being fully illuminated to the return of the Lord. So, remain focused always and continue to encourage each other.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now concerning w the times and the seasons, brothers, 1 x you have no need to have anything written to you.
In the meantime, my beloved, I know I do not have to talk to you about the details of when this will take place
For you yourselves are fully aware that y the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
because you already know that the Lord's return will come quickly and suddenly, unknown to anyone, much like the way a robber sneaks into a place at night, unannounced.
While people are saying, “There is peace and security,”
It will happen while people are relaxed, confidant that nothing unexpected or terrible could take place.
then z sudden destruction will come upon them a as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman,
Then suddenly, like the way hard labor comes upon a pregnant woman, they will be destroyed
and they will not escape.
and there will be no way for them to get away from it.
But you b are not in darkness , brothers,
But the difference for you brothers, is that you are not blind and unseeing,
for that day to surprise you like a thief.
so that the return of the Lord will not not sneak up on you out of nowhere,
For you are all c children 1 of light, children of the day.
because you are sons and daughters of light - it's as if the sun is shining on you all the time, allowing you to see clearly all that is going on.
We are not of the night or of the darkness.
That is, we are not stuck in a state of unseeing, of blindness to what is happening.
So then d let us not sleep , as others do,
In response to this, we shouldn't be sleeping through the day, resting without paying any attention, like those who are unable to see.
but let us e keep awake and f be sober.
Instead, we should always be paying careful attention and be focused.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, g are drunk at night.
For, those who are not paying careful attention and are not focused, it is like they are sleeping and drunk, unable to see what is coming, like they are in the darkness of night.
But since we belong to the day , let us be sober,
But we have clear vision, like the sun is illuminating all that is going to happen, so we should be clear-minded.
h having put on the breastplate of i faith and love,
This involves protecting our hearts from sin with our faith and with love
and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
and protecting our minds from evil by setting them constantly on the hope of our salvation.
For God has not destined us for j wrath,
Because God has plans for us that don't involve his just destruction
but k to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Instead, he has salvation for us, which we receive through our Lord Jesus Christ
l who died for us
who died in our place
so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
so that if we are still alive at his return, or if we have already died, either way, we will go on to live life with him.
Therefore encourage one another
In response to this, lift each other up,
and build one another up,
strengthen one another,
just as you are doing.
the same way you have been.
Key Observations: Metaphors: Light and day: divine knowledge and understanding and the time designated to act on it Darkness and night: ignorance of spiritual things and the time designated for inactivity in response to it Sleep and Drunk: slothfulness and sin or indifference to salvation Awake and sober: focus and cautious, active attention Simile: Like a thief: how those who are indifferent or unaware of Christ's return will be surprised by it Imperatives: -vs 6a: So let us not sleep (let us not be slothful and sinful or indifferent to our coming salvation) -vs 6b: Let us keep awake and be sober (the opposite of sleep, focused and cautions, paying attention) -vs 8a: Let us be sober (repeated) -vs 11a: encourage one anther -vs 11b: build one another up Anchors for obedience: -v 2: you are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come -v3: destruction will come upon those who are not aware of the day of the Lord -vs 4a-5: not in darkness, of the light and day - you have knowledge and understanding, illumination of the truth of Jesus' return -vs 9-10: the hope of our salvation from God's wrath through Christ's death, and our future life with him Means for obedience: -vs 8b: having put on the breastplate of faith and love (protecting our hearts from slothfulness, sin, or indifference with our faith and love) -vs 8c: (having put on) for a helmet the hope of salvation (protecting our mind with the focus of Jesus return and our awaiting salvation) -vs 11c: just as you are doing (how to do this: the same way you've been doing it, keep it up) Meditation: We are to be aware, focused, carefully attentive to our hope in Christ; our hope for the day of the Lord, our future salvation in him. How can we do this day after day, when the monotony of life starts to wear us down, leaving us sleepy and distracted? There are two things Paul says he has no need to write about. In chapter 4, we read that the Thessalonians didn't need to be taught about brotherly love because they have been taught by God to love one another. And here in Chapter 5, he says he doesn't need to teach them about the times and seasons of the Lord's return because they know it will come suddenly. The Thessalonians can be obedient in their focus by being protected by the breastplate and helmet of verse 8. Faith in God's promise to send his son back for us, and hope in that coming salvation, and love for one another are the means by which we obey, too. How do these things help us obey? Paul has said throughout this letter that the faith of the Thessalonians is steadfast, sincere, and growing. Faith in God's promises through trials, against opposition, and that continues to deepen through study of his word is faith that protects our hearts from apathy. Paul commends the Thessalonians repeatedly for the love they have that displays itself in action. This passage ends with a command to encourage and build each other up as they have been doing. This love for one another, and the resulting action of encouraging each other is protection against allowing sin to settle in the hearts of the Thessalonians. The helmet of hope is explained well in verses 9 and 10. Hope for God's protection from wrath through the saving death of our Lord Jesus will keep their hearts from falling into idol indifference. This hope goes beyond death, living on whether alive or physically dead at the coming of Jesus. So, we are to remain focused on the coming of the Lord, the day of his return. And we remain focused by continuing in and growing in our faith in God, by loving one another well and encouraging each other, and by putting our hope not in the circumstances of day to day life, but in the salvation from wrath through Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.