For God has not appointed 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. 1 Thess. 5:9-11
Merciful Father, there are some appointments I dread like the plague, others I tolerate like slow traffic, a few I simply forget about, and others I celebrate as the highlight of my week. But the appointment Paul wrote about in this text is the one I’m looking forward to with mounting joy and with exponential gratitude.
In your sovereign grace and quintessential kindness, you’ve booked me for the day of salvation in Jesus—the Day when all things will be put right and all things will be made new; when everything sad will come untrue and everything you’ve promised will happen, will fully happen. You’ve counted me among those upon whom you have set your eternal affections, lavished your great love, and declared to be righteous in Christ. Hallelujah, several times over!
You’ve guaranteed that, no matter what, I am yours, now and forever. Nothing can or will separate me from your love. The salvation you generated within me, and in each of your children, will be brought to completion on the Day of Christ Jesus. That’s an inviolate appointment you’ve made—signed with the indelible grace of the gospel.
Lord Jesus, I praise you for your tender mercies and measureless sacrifice. For you gladly took the appointment of wrath on the cross—sustaining the judgment we deserve, enduring the suffering for our sins, paying the penalty we owe. And you did it all so that whether we are “awake or asleep”—alive or dead—we might be with you.
That you actually want us, and want us to be with you, is overwhelming. Indeed, this is love, not that we loved you, but that you first loved us and gave yourself as a sacrifice of atonement and propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
In light of this good news and this unbreakable appointment, please use me as a source of encouragement in the lives of my brothers and sisters. By the quickening work of the Holy Spirit, make it obvious to me who needs a call today, a note, a face-to-face visit, a word of hope, earnest prayer for very present struggles, doubts, and fears. So very Amen I pray, in your kind and compassionate name.