1 About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
It is 21 days before Christmas. You are now fully into the season. You have plans made, calendars set and a to-do list a mile long. In these next 21 days, are you pursuing what is meaningful or simply what is expedient?
In 1 Thessalonians Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica. Timothy reported to him that the church was suffering from doctrinal misunderstandings, even though they were faithfully working for the Lord and looking for His return.
Throughout the entire letter Paul mentions Jesus’ return in every chapter. In our verses today, Paul reminds the church that they already know the Lord is returning, and that His return will be quick and unexpected.
Even though the people are aware of these things, they still needed to be reminded about what to do. Verses 6-11 tell the people to be aware, to practice self-control, to be prepared, and to encourage one another.
Over the next three weeks we can all get caught up in the expedience of December. What occupies our attention are things like travel, gifts and decorations. It becomes a time of survival. But this is not how God designed this season to be.
Like the Thessalonians, we who are Christians know what we are actually celebrating: the birth and eventual return of Jesus. This season is a time to worship and glorify God in a unique way. We therefore must make the time to reset our thinking, shifting our focus to that which is truly meaningful.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Here are a few suggestions to keep you focused on what is meaningful over the next three weeks:
- Plan: Look at your calendar. In the next three weeks, is there anything that is not meaningful? Can you reschedule that time for an activity that is meaningful?
- Do a daily check in: Every day, do a check in to see if you are focused on activities that are meaningful. If not, what do you need to do to shift your focus?
- Be in the moment: What can you do to set regular reminders to be focused on God?
We all need reminders in our lives. Sometimes we might need to be reminded to make our beds, brush our teeth, do our homework, or be kind to others. You probably don’t need to be reminded that Christmas is coming, but maybe we need help being reminded of what that means: that Jesus is coming again! Today, grab a pack of post-its, and have everyone in your family draw a picture or write a word on a few post-its that remind them that Jesus is coming again to bring you home with Him. These could be a cross, a star, the word JESUS, the word GRACE, etc. the options are endless! Then, put these post-its up all over your house, in every room, so that everyone in your family has reminders to stop and praise God for His goodness.
Pray for Kyla, a global worker in our church family who works in anti-trafficking ministry.