For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
In Paul’s writings, to be asleep often means something other than physical slumber. It can mean unaware of what God is doing in the world, oblivious to the ways in which God is continuing to accomplish His mission in human history. It can also mean physically dead, resting until awakened by Christ on the day of resurrection. In any event, whether fully aware of what God is up to or not, whether physically alive or not, those who trust in Jesus need not fear being forgotten, forsaken, or punished by the wrath of God, because Jesus died in our place and has prepared a place for us after death. So, Christians encourage each other to stay alert, building up rather than tearing down, because we look forward to the day when all the sleepers will awaken and the goodness of God is finally, fully revealed.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the salvation You have prepared for us in Christ! Awaken our hearts that we may encourage one another and build each other up, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
After church one Sunday, an embarrassed woman said:
"I hope you didn't take it personally, Reverend,
when my husband walked out during your sermon."
"I did find it rather disconcerting," the preacher replied.
"It's not a reflection on you, sir," insisted the church goer.
"Ralph has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.”
Seen on the door of a church nursery: 1 Corinthians 15:51
“Behold, I tell you a mystery;
we shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed.”
The LORD awaken and change our hearts!
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.” (Isaiah 16:16-20)
Today is Epiphany, when Christians have traditionally ended the Twelve Days of Christmas by celebrating the arrival of the Magi, pagan astrologers who came to worship the young boy Jesus as King of the Jews. Isaiah was among the prophets who had predicted that God would call and enlighten the people of all nations through the appearance of His Savior. The Magi understood the appearance of a bright light in the sky as a sign that God was intervening in human history, and we understand the appearance of the Magi as a sign from God that all people are invited to join in the joy of the salvation that came about through that intervention!
“Heavenly Father, thank you for drawing us to the light of Your salvation. May we join believers from all ages and all nations in seeking out and worshiping You as King, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
An airliner flew into a violent thunderstorm at the end of the holiday.
Soon the big jet was swaying and bumping around the sky.
A very nervous lady was sitting next to a pastor and turned to him.
"Can't you do something?" she demanded angrily.
"I'm sorry ma'am," the pastor said gently, "I'm in sales, not management."
Fifteen minutes into a cross country flight the captain announced,
"Ladies and gentlemen, one of our engines has failed, but don’t worry.
Our flight will take an hour longer than scheduled, but we have three engines left."
Thirty minutes later the captain announced, "Ladies and gentlemen, just an update:
Another engine has failed and the flight will take an additional hour.
But don't worry, we can fly just fine on two engines."
An hour later the captain announced, "Folks, sorry for the inconvenience.
One more engine has failed and our arrival will be delayed another hour.
But don't worry; we can still safely land the plane."
A young passenger turned to the man in the next seat and remarked,
"If we lose one more engine, we'll be up here all day!"
The Lord give you wisdom and safe travel this week!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.