There is an idiom that says “Stop daydreaming! Get your head out of the clouds and watch where you are driving!” Paul is basically saying the same thing to these precious believers in Thessalonica. He had just given them the exciting news that “soon” they would be reunited with loved ones, but rather than sitting and “vegetating” upon that news there was work still to be done. So quit daydreaming about the coming of the Lord and get busy in the here and now. This is good advice to us as well.
The first 11 verses Paul reiterates who they are: children of the day and children of the light. They had the precious indwelling Holy Spirit, they had His illumination within them. Joh 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. Therefore, because of this they should not be “sleeping”…that is daydreaming but be aware, alert, armed against the “lions in the road.” [Seems we keep coming back to that phrase, although not mentioned here, that metaphor seems to fit]. One way we can do this is seeking ways to encourage those who are downtrodden in life with the reminder that Jesus is coming again just as He said! Acts 1:11 “This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven.” But, until then, we need to be about the Master’s business.
Now Paul gets to the nitty-gritty practical side of the equation. First look about you to those who labor amongst you as the leaders of the flock. Encourage, esteem, and edify them! As to the flock: Live in peace amongst the brethren. Rom 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.
Lastly, 5:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all. Always be pursuing that which is good, rejoicing, praying, examining (Be a Berean), and be grateful. Paul closes this letter with this admonition: This is God’s will for you and for the church. And last but not least….read this letter to the church.
So where is your head today? Are you just sitting and soaking or actively up and about the work of the Lord?