But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. I Thessalonians 5:4-6
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. I Thessalonians 5:8
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:9-11
A child born into, or adopted into, a family has a distinct place within that family; he “belongs together with” other family members. He shares a home, family values and family traditions with other family members while developing his own individual and unique character, personality and interests. Everyone lives and works together in community, yet each one retains his own individuality. The same is true for those adopted into God’s family. Each of God’s adopted children has a distinct place within the family structure and each one belongs together with the others.
Our goal, individually and as a community, is to grow more Christ-like while advancing God’s kingdom. We participate in family life while simultaneously developing our unique personality and gifts. Awake in life or asleep in death, we belong to the Lord and will live together with Him at His return. Be prepared and ready; help others be prepared as well. Shake off sleep’s stupor. Walk in God’s light as God’s children of light. Mutually encourage and build up one another. Are you stouthearted and strong? Help the weak and the fainthearted. Encourage the unruly. Hold fast to truth.
Staying steadfast in the Lord, especially during persecution, is impossible without the Spirit’s help; allow nothing to quench His fire. Armed with the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of hope, we receive strength to face life’s circumstances. The certainty that in life, or in death, we are the Lord’s possession enables us to rejoice always, allows us to pray unceasingly and makes it possible for us to be thankful in everything. The God of peace Himself sanctities us completely, keeps and preserves us, spirit, soul, and body, blameless at the Lord’s coming. Trust God. Endure.