READING: Romans 11-13
I don’t know when the Lord Jesus will return, but I know that time grows closer with each day that passes. Urgency should mark our lives as believers, knowing that Christ could return today if God has so determined. Indeed, the imminent return of Christ should change everything about the way we live.
I fear, though, that we talk about that urgency only in terms of evangelism. Because Christ is coming back, we must get the gospel to the nations so others might follow Him prior to coming judgment. That motive is right, and that application is accurate — so Christ’s return should, in fact, compel us to the nations. After, how can anyone hear unless one preaches, and how can one preach unless he is sent? (Rom 10:14-15).
At the same time, that urgency must change the way we live, too. We must “put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12). Using images of putting on clothing and armor that he often used, the apostle Paul reminded the Romans that they were to live differently than the world. For example, they were to leave behind “deeds of darkness” like carousing and drunkenness, sexual immorality, and dissension and jealousy (Rom 13:13). They were instead to “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14). Through a relationship with Christ, they would have the Son of God as the armor they wore. No one can, of course, defeat that armor.
As we’ve seen throughout these devotions this year, we are in a real battle against a real enemy. In that battle, laying aside our sin and putting on the armor of Christ — daily commitments we make — are two components of the same task: the task of obedience to Christ. We turn from the enemy to Christ, from sin to faithfulness, from bondage to freedom, from failure to victory, from death to life. Deeds of darkness have no place if we desire to live in the light.
Rather than live in that darkness, offer yourself as a living sacrifice to Christ today (Rom 12:1).
- Turn away from any deeds of darkness in your life, including those sins that Paul named in today’s reading.
- To live in the light is to not fear having the light shine in all areas of our lives. Live today in such a way that you have nothing to hide.
PRAYER: “God, I want to put aside any deeds of darkness in my life. Help me to see them clearly and turn from them fully.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Romans 14-16