Living for the Lord's Return
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8. We either walk in the dark (asleep, drunk) or in the light (awake, sober). What does it mean to live “awake” and “sober”? If you would say you walk in the light, what does that look like for you?
What are some life-altering decisions you have made in your life to stand in contrast to others and truly follow Jesus? In what ways might you need to count the cost and do something contrary to “the herd”?
If our confidence is ultimately in the One who created and redeemed us, we won’t collapse under the weight of temptations and judgment from others. What is your initial response to insults, criticism, rejection, etc.? Why do we tend to be fragile in this way? How can you build confidence in your identity in Christ?
Some practical ways of living in the light can be looked at through our core values, listed below. Which of the following do you struggle with the most and why?
- Biblically oriented: Put yourself under the authority of Scripture and obey
- Relationally connected: Talk about what is going well and not well—challenge each other on hard things and encourage one another in truth.
- Courageously generous: Recognize all the resources you have were given to you by God.
- Ministry focused: Let God love other people through you.
- Culturally engaged: Share your life and story; invest in others and intersect your life with culture.
- Prayerfully dependent: Spend time alone with God, hearing from him for what to do and where he is leading, and learn the mind of God through surrendered dependence.
The day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:2) is a time of judgment. In judgment, there is either salvation or condemnation.
We have to learn as a culture to be more introspective. We should learn to think deeply so that we know what we really think and feel and will not measure what we should do based on what everyone else is doing.
We have people in our church who aren’t able to discern if they are walking in the light or dark. As a church family we are to help each other discern and not deceive ourselves.
We are fragile. But if our confidence is ultimately in the One who created and redeemed us, we won’t collapse under the weight of insults, criticism, rejection, or betrayal. When our identity is in God, we are not shaken. Confidence comes from knowing where you come from and where you are going.
Our life is a response to the idea that we did not save ourselves—God chose to save us and not pour out his anger on us, and our lives are lived out of gratitude for that.
All of our longings and desires are ultimately rooted in our biggest desire which is to be connected to our Creator.