August 13, 2010
Building Strong Friendships in Christ
“Not in Darkness” Today
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;”
1 Thessalonians 5:4
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I love to fish at Sebastian Inlet after dark, and, if it rains and blows, I often catch more fish. I remember, however, the first time my friend took me fishing at night down there. I stood on some rocks, and cast my lure into black, still night. I could not see where my lure went, and I was completely uneasy fishing at night. Over time, with experience, you learn how to fish at night, how to wear a light on your head, and land fish in the dark. I even discovered how beautiful the ocean can be on a dark, stormy night, provided you are standing on land. One thing I remember, however: always lock my car and hide all my valuables. Like the fish, thieves often come out at night, even in a nice state park.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:4, Paul has already described how the world will be proclaiming “Peace and safety!” when, in fact, tribulation awaits them right around the corner. In contrast, however, the believers at Thessalonica already knew that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Paul reinforces that fact by letting them know they were not in darkness.
In Scripture, darkness often describes evil, and also spiritual ignorance (Luke 22:53; Ephesians 6:12; Acts 26:18). In the present verse, Paul knows the Thessalonians do not live in darkness, because Jesus has brought them into the light. In 1 John 1:5, John tells us that “God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Furthermore, God said He has “rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). Therefore, we know that all true believers continually live in the light of salvation, but sometimes they ignore the light and become blind in their conduct (2 Peter 1:9).
Paul links spiritual darkness in this case with the coming of the thief. Because the Thessalonians have been rescued from the domain of darkness, they now will be ready for the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord will not come upon them like a thief in the night because they will be spiritually prepared, because they are spiritually alive. As we will see, however, you may be spiritually alive, but still not ready for the day of the Lord, because you are asleep.
So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.
● Strong bonds of friendship form when we know we are children of the light, and live accordingly.
● Strong bonds of friendship grow when we remind each other that every Christian has become a child of the light, and Jesus has overcome the darkness.
● We harm our bonds of friendship when we stop living in the light of Jesus, and fail to remind our friends that the day of the Lord is coming.
Application for Today
Today, I want to remind my friends in Christ that we live in the light of Jesus Christ and we are not in darkness. Are you living in darkness today? Have you fallen asleep today, even though you are still alive in Christ?