Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hope of Salvation

1 Thessalonians 5:5-10

When I was in college, the first semester was spent experimenting with alcohol.  I didn't drink often, but I occasionally went to parties and enjoyed how easy it was to try some alcohol.  I look back on those years and shudder to think of how close I came to getting into some bad situations.  Alcohol was definitely the issue in those circumstances because I wasn't thinking clearly.  I didn't even realize at the time that I was making poor choices until the next morning and I thought it was strange that I acted out of character.  The passage of scripture I'm looking at today shows a spiritual application to being sober; please look up 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10.

I find it interesting that this section of scripture talks about the importance of living as children of the day and light and to be sober and in the same breath it mentions putting on armor.  The Greek word for helmet is the same as yesterday's word and means to wrap around the head.  The New Living Translation uses the word, "clearheaded" instead of sober, which fits in with the idea I mentioned yesterday about keeping our thoughts captive to whatever is good and worthy of praise.  One of the things this section of scripture tells us to use as our helmet is the "hope of salvation."  I like that this scripture goes on to explain what that hope is: "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him."  We receive salvation through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice that He made on the cross.

Our hope is that no matter what, when we receive the beautiful and wonderful gift that Christ extended to us through His sacrifice we may, "live together with Him."  Sometimes, when I am pressed in with trials, it is that hope that helps me continue.  I want to live a life that pleases God, but I am looking forward to the day that I get to sit at His feet and worship Him.  I look forward to the day when every tear will be wiped away.  That hope of salvation is what reminds me that this is just temporary, but what I cannot see today is forever (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).  It is the hope of living in our permanent home with Christ Jesus, our amazing Savior!

We can focus our thoughts on that amazing and awesome hope of our salvation and be "sober," or clearheaded.  The perspective of eternity allows us to stand firm and continue our labor for the Lord.  We can remember that God has a purpose for our lives and we can run the race with endurance, after all Christ bore the burden of our sin and shame and is now sitting in glory at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:1-3).  Praise God!  We have a hope in salvation!

Is the hope of salvation keeping you focused and "sober?"

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