Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Notes to the Lord:Safe in the Middle of the Darkness

1 Thessalonians 5
1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Lord Jesus--The end of this age...I know that you are in control. As I think about the age that I live in, it impresses me that we have such a non-sustainable way of living. Our culture is so move-able and disposable. So little really lasts beyond the expiration date stamped on the carton.

You will return suddenly in the middle of safety and security. In a moment, what was will pass away. There are practical implications of the possibility of that kind of massive change. It says something about the value that I should place on the things that surround me. You are saying to me, “Hold everything lightly, they are not yours anyway. Take care of them until I need them from you.”

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

Lord Jesus--There are practical implications of being yours in this time of darkness. It requires of me an approach that is a bit like working the night shift. It is dark outside but that does not mean that I am engaged in the activities of the night. You call me to sober actions that are surround by the light, even when the darkness deepens around me. I need to stay awake even when it gets so quiet around me.

7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

Lord Jesus--The situation calls for protection from the forces that surround in the darkness. Faith and Love protect the heart and vital organs. It is when I lead with faith and love that my heart is protected. You are the one the forms the context and the course of the events that shape my life.

I am not alone in this deepening darkness. Faith and love says that in the middle of whatever mess I find myself that you can turn it into a place of blessing and grace. Grace that impacts even the darkness that seems so oppressive at times.

I love that hope is my helmet. It is when hope infuses and infects the thoughts and ruminations of my mind and heart that I can think and plan with effectiveness.

Lord Jesus, inhabit my thoughts and meditations in this day. The darkness does not depend on my limited mental resources to see it beaten back. Hope is my first thought and my last thought before I find myself in your presence. Salvation is your sovereign choice.

9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Lord Jesus--There is coming a day when I will be with you. You have offered salvation freely. As the darkness deepens and my hope in the present safety and security recedes remind me that your grace continues to lead through the course of my life and times.

In this day, be with your people. My walk right now is safe in a way that many of my brothers and sisters have never known. I will be warm and well feed today. Be close to your people who are walking through dark places today. Keep them encouraged and aware that you with them in a way that is beyond explanation.

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