Today’s readings are from 1 Samuel 26, 27 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
I am a planner. I love to have something on the boil, be ready to start a new project or improve on what I have already done. My plans vary a lot. Short term – this morning, tonight, tomorrow, next week. Or medium range – after Christmas or next year. Now, having reached a significant age, my goals can be prefaced by the words, “After I retire…”
As I ponder the reality of being eligible for a Senior’s Card, I wonder where the time has gone. How did I get here so soon? Did I achieve the all the goals I planned? What will be my life look like during this season post paid employment? Then, after reading this passage from Thessalonians I am challenged with the thought: will it matter to God whether I have achieved these plans?
To be honest, I have not been actively planning for the day of Jesus’ return during my busy and rewarding working life. I am now being reminded that my first priority should be preparing for the day of The Lord. I cannot plan the time but know that it comes as a thief in the night and it will be a surprise for everybody, because no one knows the day or even the hour (Matthew 24:36).
Christians living in the light and not in darkness, will have made some preparations for Christ’s return, much the same way that we make some general preparations against thieves. We can’t plan very well because we don’t know timeframes. Verse 6 suggests that we continue to watch and be sober. Alert and focused. Am I able to stay alert and focused on Jesus, carefully following His ways and directions? I certainly need help there. I love the idea of putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmut the hope of salvation. There are similar words in Ephesians 6. Faith and love are represented by the breastplate which covers vital organs. No one can live the Christian life without faith and love. The hope we have is more than wishful thinking. It’s a confidence in God’s hand always caring for His creation.
Paul says in verse 10, that to to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. My salvation is only possible through God’s sovereignty, because He loves me so much that His Son died for me. It is also important for me to make some effort to know Jesus and His will for my life. In my planning mode, shouldn’t that be my focus each day? Daily short term plans to read His word and pray. Longer term plans to worship and interact with my fellow parishioners. Paul also has other instructions for us to comfort and edify each other. I know I can add that to my planning schedule
After I retire…. no, now, I am going to put on that breastplate and helmut. I plan to live together with Jesus first to help comfort and edify my church family before tackling my next new personal goals and aspirations. Please feel free to keep me on track whenever we meet, now and in the future.
What have you got in mind when you finish reading FDR today?