The WORD for Today is Romans 13.
Reading through Romans 13, you might be tempted to think that Paul “getting it wrong” when we come to verse 11. “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” Romans 13:11b. Surely Paul didn’t really think that the world was coming to an end in his lifetime.
However, I think we might be missing his point. This world and our lives are passing away. Our time is short. We are certainly closer to the end of our days today than we were yesterday. For some, today IS the day of our salvation!
No matter what else we understand, if we don’t realize that this world (and our lives) are temporary, we will “get it wrong.”I remember a song by a Christian artist named Rich Mullins called, “Live Right.”
Live like you’ll die tomorrow
Die knowing you’ll live forever,
Love like you’ll leave tomorrow
Believing love lasts forever.
Those words have stuck with me. They seem to echo the encouragement of Paul in Romans 13 (and a LOT of other places in Scripture). Live right! When we understand the true nature of our world and and time and our place in both, we can begin to awaken from the slumber that leads to conformity with the world. You and I, through faith in Jesus Christ, are different and we ought to live that way!
Realize this: The things you do and say … even your attitude … matters! You and I have a chance to live in such a way that other come to know the “LOVE that lasts forever.” Let’s not waste time on the old ways. Let’s “put on the armor of light” and clothe ourselves in the grace, forgiveness, and love of Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit bearing fruit in us, let’s live right!
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:11-14 NIV