So what do you think of the times that you are living in? There is a perspective that things are pretty good. We have all kinds of industrial, technological and intellectual advancements that have made our lives better than any previous generation. Yes, we could argue that there are still some bad things, but many of us could argue that overall things are pretty good. But is this the way that God’s sees it?
Last week I was thinking about the verses surrounding one of my memory verses, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) I noticed something as I was contemplating the practical application of “putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.” The phrase is a metaphor illustrating getting dressed. It speaks about putting on a new way of living. The garments would be honesty (being truthful), practicing self-control over our emotions (anger), to being trustworthy (a good employee) and treating others with respect and dignity to name a few. We are reminded of the need to stop making excuses and start making life choices that put God’s truth into practice. This is great stuff, but not what stood out to me last week.
What stood out was the reason for us to live Biblically, assuming you already know Jesus as your Savior, because we are living in a world of darkness. Light and darkness are common metaphors in the New Testament for good and evil respectively. The Bible reminds us in our passage that we are the light in a dark world. Our light shines through our good character and our light is extinguished by the absence of it.
God’s truth reminds us of the urgency for Godly living. First, the Lord’s return is growing ever closer. Our time is running out to make a difference for Him. This in not only true for Jesus’ return but for our lives as well. Second, we are reminded that we are participants in a spiritual war being fought between the force of darkness and the forces of light. And third, compromising behavior strengthens the influence of those that oppose God.
The admonition “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) is not a call to social justice or political protest but moral, godly living. It is what makes us different that creates interest in those who do not yet know Jesus. Our greatest opportunity to touch people for Jesus is our lifestyle. My passage in Romans puts it this way, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:12)
We are living during an incredible time. What makes it incredible is the opportunity that each of us has to make a difference for Jesus in the lives of others. Our time is short. The question we each need to ask ourselves each day is “Does this choice turn up my light for Jesus?”
-Pastor Joe Parkinson