November 30, Monday
Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
I’m finishing this devotional for Advent 2015 and the first statement in this passage is: “you know what time it is.”
Yes, I do. It’s Halloween/Daylight Savings Time Saturday. I’m heading to the Razorback football game in about an hour. The leaves are turning colors. The temperature is getting cooler, and the days are getting shorter.
But that’s not the kind of time Paul is thinking about. He’s writing about salvation time. “For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.”
I thought my salvation was as close as it gets when I accepted Jesus on an April Tuesday night in our living room when I was 13 years old.
According to Paul that’s only part of it. There’s a moment in the past, but there’s also a time in the future. It’s that time in the future when Jesus returns and God totally redeems, reconciles, and restores God’s creation and creatures.
Paul says, wake up and notice what time it is. And, then, he says, it is time to behave like you know what time it is.
So, in the first thirteen verses of Romans 13, Paul tells Christians to 1) be respectful and responsible citizens of your government, and 2) be loving toward your neighbors.
Then in verses 12-14, Paul describes negative/unhealthy and positive/healthy attitudes and behaviors. He sums it up with the phrase: “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Advent is a good time to pay attention to God’s time and to the way we live and act as followers of Jesus.
Can other people tell what time it really is by watching my attitudes, behavior and lifestyle?
Saving God, Help me pay attention to your timing and the lifestyle that’s pleasing to you. I pray in the name of the Jesus of Advent and the Parousia, Amen.
By Ray Higgins, CBFAR Coordinator
Second Baptist Church, Little Rock
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