October 11 - Like a Thief in the Night

By Mary J. Yerkes

Today's Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Central Thought: We must live what we know, constantly looking for the coming of the Lord.

    At 5:00 pm on a rainy June day, four armed robbers broke into our home, stealing a few hundred dollars, watches, cell phones, and my peace of mind. We were living in West Africa at the time. Although we had never been robbed before, it was always a real threat. Our home had a 6-foot high wall around it, bars on the windows, and a night guard. You might think I was prepared for the thieves, but they took me completely by surprise. We had lived in that part of the world for twelve years and I had come to think of my home as a safe haven.

    Paul writes to the Thessalonians, 'Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (vv. 1-2).

    The Thessalonians were 'fully aware” that Jesus would come again unexpectedly. They knew the times and the seasons. They had had a lot of teaching. In chapter 4, Paul writes that they knew how they ought to live, they knew how to please God, and they knew how to love one another. Paul's concern for the Thessalonians is not how much they know, but how well they put it into practice. He repeatedly urges them to do what they know to do—more and more. It is the anticipation of Christ's return, 'like a thief in the night,” that will keep them alert.

    It is so easy to let complacency set in. Reading my Bible and going to church can become a spiritual equivalent to a wall around my home and bars on my windows. A fall sense of security can set in if we stop eagerly anticipating His return. We cannot afford to be caught up in the pleasures of this world or even our comfortable routines. We must keep our hearts set on that future hope. We must live each day with eager anticipation of Christ's Second Coming.

Devotional Prayer: Father, help me to live each day listening for the trumpet sound and eagerly anticipating the return of Jesus

Today's Bible Reading: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-7