Scriptural Readings: I Thessalonians 5:2-24; II Thessalonians 2:2-3, 14

I Thessalonians 5:2-4

King James Version

V.2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

V.3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

V.4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

New Living Translation

V.2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

V.3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.

V.4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.

As we go through our day-to-day lives, we experience troublesome or carefree challenges. There are things tolerable for us that otherwise disturb our whole being in the physical realm or spiritual realm, presenting us with choices. Whatever the outcomes, they have consequences for us. Rust eats metals, putting a once-mighty type of metal into a hill of useless sands of rust. Molds develop, extending their roots on our bread, making it impossible for us to eat it, resulting in waste and world hunger. Are we living in a pre-apocalyptic scenario? Repercussions must be our concern. Are we ready for anything that will come our way? For sure, there are no exemptions, and for humanity, uncertainties are always a welcome party.

I Thessalonians 5:5-8

King James Version

V.5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

V.6 Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.

V.7 For them that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

V.8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

New Living Translation

V.5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.

V.6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.

V.7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk.

V.8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

What should be our attitude? Of what is presently developing today, this is the time to contemplate our lives seriously. We have to be more cautious of what is happening and give more time to foreknow further and brace for what is about to happen. Insights and conclusions will play a considerable part for all of us. Summing up all these things, there must be something more essential and meaningful for our lives. Important that our body, soul, and spirit must deal with seriousness.

What are we made of at this present time? We have to be left unshaken as Christians. The foundation has to be strong. We should be having a thankful attitude because God will equip us with all the necessary things we need. We have no one or anything to blame but ourselves. We get into trouble because of wrong assumptions and decisions giving us the pressures. We assume we can handle any failure, but when it gets out of hand, we have assorted reasons to present, including ourselves, why we are suffering.

I Thessalonians 5:9-24

King James Version

V.9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

V.10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

V.11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

V.12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

V.13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. [And] be at peace among yourselves.

V.14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].

V.15 See that none render evil for evil unto any [man]; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all [men].
V.16 Rejoice evermore.
V.17 Pray without ceasing.
V.18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
V.19 Quench not the Spirit.
V.20 Despise not prophesyings.
V.21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
V.22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
V.23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
V.24 Faithful [is] he that calleth you, who also will do [it].

New Living Translation

V.9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.

V.10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.

V.11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

V.12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance.

V.13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

V.14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

V.15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and all people.

V.16 Always be joyful.

V.17 Never stop praying.

V.18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

V.19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.

V.20 Do not scoff at prophecies,

V.21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

V.22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

V.23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

V.24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

Are we seeing a connection between now and the future? We have to be unshaken and, to be in this stage, we have to have divine life. It may seem impossible, but the truth is for God, nothing is impossible. Let us not fear. Let the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit continue to work on us. He can reconstruct our unstable lives into reliable lives, getting through different kinds of trials. God never lies. God will make this happen if we are going to be faithful and unshaken. He has provided everything we need, and all we have to do is step on the plate, wait for the right time, and swing the bat. We have to keep in mind that God is always in control, and we have to remain unshaken.

And finally. . .

II Thessalonians 2:2-3

King James Version

V.2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

V.3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

New Living Translation

V.2 Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.

V.3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction.

As we see something unfolds before our eyes, let’s stand firm and remained unshaken. The truth will be revealed, and lies will be exposed. Many will fall away and be shaken by what is happening and about to happen. We must focus our lives on Jesus alone! Jesus promised that He will not leave us nor forsake us. A day will come when we will all be taken, and to be with Him forever sharing all His glory. Alleluia!


A Substitute Or The Substitute

Scriptural Readings: Ecclesiastes 6:2; Psalms 94:11; 1 John 2:16-17; Matthew 6:33

Ecclesiastes 6:2

King James Version

A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this [is] vanity, and it [is] an evil disease.

New Living Translation

God gives some people great wealth and honor and everything they could ever want, but then he doesn’t give them the chance to enjoy these things. They die, and someone else, even a stranger, ends up enjoying their wealth! This is meaningless—a sickening tragedy.

Substitute is a comforting word. The feeling of delight happens after we accomplished an exchange for a frustrating effort. We recognize that there is a better replacement if we are not satisfied with our efforts. 

In the distressing time that we are experiencing right now, with no exception, every one of us is looking for an alternate to practically everything. Satisfaction is a futile word today. Change is imperative. It seems that nothing fits the thing we are changing. Did it ever cross our minds that our attitude is the cause? It boils down to the “I will never stop till I get on top.”  But this thing on being on top never stops. We never stop. A substitute will always be there, enticing us to choose from the options. After all, getting on top through adventure is satisfying for some, but until when?

Psalms 94:11

King James Version

The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they [are] vanity.

New Living Translation

The Lord knows people’s thoughts; he knows they are worthless!

A substitute or the substitute? Is there a difference? In the spiritual realm, it has. We will always have a backup as a replacement, and the alternate who is Jesus whom God gave us remained unattended. The only thing we know is to rely on our futile actions. God deals with us, a reality we have to be well aware of what is happening daily. We are constantly ready for the change in our temporal lives, which by the way, most of the time is a time-consuming effort due primarily to our unreliable, disappointing management. Our endeavor must have spiritual essence!

King James Version

1 John 2:16-17

V.16  For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

V.17  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

New Living Translation

V.16  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

V.17  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

What is odd about the Christian life is that we must first deal with spiritual matters followed by earthly affairs. Time is an element when God delivers something for us to accomplish or reveal. Due to our impatience, we substitute something in God’s plan. God’s plan for us is perfect. We are not supposed to change or mess up things that God prepared for us. Jesus is the substitute. There are no replacements God has given us. What we cannot see and that we have to get rid of is our stubbornness. We have seen His works, but we still believe in lies we have been told.

Matthew 6:33

King James Version

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

New Living Translation

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

We are running out of time. God has set a timetable here on earth, and everything will come to its end. Are we still on to have a substitute? If so, we will be blind to the reality we are looking for in our lives. If we still insist our way, everything will come into naught. Our Father has given us the Substitute, not a substitute, and He is our Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever we might be looking or asking, Jesus is the substitute. It is plain and simple. We have to accept what the Lord Jesus did on the cross. As soon as we accept what Jesus did in Calvary, automatically we will be seeking His kingdom, and this time it will be very clear for us the things we are longing for, not only looking for with no doubt and full of confidence.

Many of us might be still in the habit of having a substitute, and this has become a lifestyle. God has given us a new life when we were born again. He has substituted our unreliable life for a life of confidence through His son Jesus, completely changing our body, soul, and spirit. Let us stop looking for a substitute. Let us trust and put our faith in Jesus, and he will give you everything you need.