The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.Romans 13:12(NASB)
We are living in difficult and evil times, but that should not prevent us from doing what is right. We are called to live our lives and share the good news of the gospel in spirit and truth. We are not to allow the world to squeeze us into its mould, but are to serve one another in love - through our spiritual giftings and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
As children of God, we have an obligation to live as children of the light and to resist participating in the evil works of darkness. We are to be purifying salt and shining lights in a darkened and distasteful place. We are to live honestly and righteously in the fear of the Lord and we are to remember that although we live in the world, we are not part of its system - and should act appropriately.
As citizens of heaven, our lives should be a living sacrifice - holy and acceptable to the Lord which includes honouring the government and submitting to the established, human authorities which God Himself has ordained. But we are also to be mindful that our time on earth is limited, and the day is fast approaching when Christ will come in the clouds to take us to be with Himself.
Earlier in his epistle, Paul systematically set out every doctrinal truth that relates to our salvation and living a god-honouring, Christian life... and as he begins to draw his letter to a close, he warns us that, "the night is almost gone, and the day is near... therefore," we are encouraged to, "lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light."
The teaching of the imminent return of Christ for His Body was equally relevant to Christians living in those early days of the Church as it is to believers in this 21st century. Every generation of believers, from the days of the apostles to the current time, have been called to live by faith and not by sight.
For centuries, Christians have responded to Paul's urgent words - that the night is almost gone. "The night is far spent, and the day is at hand," he warned. The time when Christians have been instructed to live as lights to the world is almost over. The present time in which we live is like a dark night of sin in a broken world of problems and pain, but as His children we are to live our life in moral purity and godly kindness and be alert to the soon return of Christ for His people.
This present time, when Satan rules as the god of this age and the prince of the power of the air, is almost over. The dispensation of the grace of God is reaching its fullness and we must not allow ourselves to drift into some form of narcotic slumber or get sucked into the increasing deception that is flooding both the corridors of government and many church congregations.
The day of Christ's glory when He returns in power is drawing ever closer - it is nearer than when we first heard the truth of the gospel of grace and placed our faith in the death, burial, and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Therefore, we should lay aside the deeds of darkness and clothe ourselves in His protective armour of light."
Putting on the armour of light and living a godly life that honours the Lord, should be the daily activity of every believer - especially as we see the day of His return drawing ever closer. We want to be those that are living by faith, carrying out His will in our lives, and living a life that is honouring to God as we lay aside every deed of darkness and any activity that discredits His name.
Praise God that we have been given ALL we need for life and godliness. May we be ready to search our heart and set aside every dark deed and any worldly act by clothing ourselves, day by day, in Christ's armour of light.
Heavenly Father, as I read through the book of Romans, I am coming to an understanding that the time for Christ's return is drawing ever closer. In this broken world of sin, I realise how easy it is to lose focus on Christ and be drawn into the many deceptive teachings that are flooding the world and being taught by many church congregations. Keep me alert and awake to the knowledge that the night has almost gone and the day for Christ's return is fast approaching. Help me be a living sacrifice and a shining light in this darkened world, and help me lay aside any and every worldly activity that discredits Your name. I pray that I may clothe myself daily in Christ's armour of light as I see the day of His return approaching. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.