"Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 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. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkeness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lust." Romans 13:11-14
I have made it my habit at the beginning of a new year to offer the Lord the first fruits of my time in order to fast and pray for a word of guidance to point me in the right direction. As we peer into a year of uncertainty as never before I need the comfort and assurance only He can give. Chapter 13 in Romans is where I believe He led me. I encourage you to read the whole chapter. The verses that particularly spoke to me are 11-14. As we look at verse 11 we see a sober warning of the time we are now in. It is time for us to awaken to the day of salvation, the return of the Lord! We must wake up to the fact the day is definitely nearer than ever before. The darkness of sin is almost gone for the true disciples of Christ and the day is near! What day? The day of salvation! The definition of salvation is: deliverance from the power and effects of sin. What a day it shall be!
After the warning of the time, we receive instruction on how to prepare in each of our personal lives. We lay aside or cast off the deeds of darkness that are carnal, and we put on the armor of light. We do not put clean clothes on over dirty clothes. One has to be removed before the other can be put on. Paul then gives us a list of sin common to all flesh, carousing and drunkeness, sexual promiscuity and sensuality, strife and jealousy. We must sift our lives through the word of God to prepare to meet our Lord which we will all do, disciple or atheist, rich or poor, young and old. Every knee will eventually bow and every tongue confesses before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords praises to God. (Romans 14:11)
"So then each one of us will give account of himself to God" Romans 14:12
Paul summarizes with this command:
"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lust."
Take a moment to meditate on this verse. How do we put on Christ Jesus? John 1:14 reveals:
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
We cannot put on Christ Jesus without immersing ourselves in His Word daily. We cannot love Jesus without loving His Word. We cannot love His Word without loving Him. They are one and the same. You cannot have one without the other. This is what is lacking in the bride of Christ. She has not adorned herself in His Word. You cannot love someone you do not know. The Word reveals the Son. This is how you will know how much you are loved by Christ our Lord and the Father. When we fall in love by seeking an intimate relationship with someone it becomes natural to want to make sacrifices for their well being. That is God’s design. Before we can truly love others our first love must be Him. Our eternity is based on the ultimate sacrificial love of God the Father, and Jesus, His only Son. Christainity is the only religion birthed out of pure, holy love. Once we know how much we are loved by studying and meditating on His Word, it becomes our heart’s desire to love Him as He has loved us. It is only then we can love one another as He has commanded. We aren’t capable any other way.
Finally, we are warned to make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lust. What does that mean in your life? What changes do we need to make in our personal lives to rid ourselves of the way we are making provision for our flesh which wars against our spirit? Gluttony, or obesity, is rampant in America. What do we need to change to make no provision for the lust of food? Get rid of the food in your home that you don’t need for nourishment which will probably empty out most of your cupboards and fridge. Replace it with simple nutritious food and see what happens to your health. What are we setting before our eyes and ears making provision for lusting and all kinds of sensual desires that lead to the destruction of so many families? Selfish ambition and empty conceit, strife and jealousy are the opposite of what the Word of God teaches. Who or what is enticing you in that direction? Alcohol is never going to feed your spirit or bring you closer to God. One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. We know alcohol causes us to lose our inhibitions needed for a pure and holy life. It is taking off the old sinful garments and allowing ourselves to be dressed by Jesus Himself daily through His Word and His ways. Only then can we become the bride spoken of in Ephesians 5:25-27:
"Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless."
Are you willing to be cleansed by the washing of the Word that we might put on Christ Jesus, and become a holy and blameless bride adorned without spot or wrinkle for the coming of our Bridegroom?
Awake O Bride! The day is near! Let us heed the Word of the Lord for 2022 from His Word!
In His love.
For a brief moment the world appeared peaceful, pure and spotless, after a fresh, fallen snow blanketed southwest Virginia this week. Photos were taken on a run from home.