“Nothing good happens after midnight!” You probably heard your parents say it, or better yet, you’ve used that line on your teenager. Truth is, there is a shady side of life that comes out at night, one that usually scurries away as the sun comes up. There is also something very revealing about the sunlight that brings clarity and awareness on the “morning after.” Sometimes that clarity comes out of self-realization—waking up and seeing things from a fresh perspective. Other times clarity comes from a police officer shining a flashlight in your face! One is certainly preferred over the other!
- What “nighttime” deeds or areas of your life has God recently healed you of or brought to your attention?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 13:11-14 (ESV)
11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 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. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- “Salvation” is not only a reference to the moment we placed our trust in Christ, but also to the process of our becoming more like Christ and to the end times when Christ comes back. What do you feel Paul was referring to when he said “the hour has come for you to wake from sleep… the day is at hand”?
- What significance does the “armor of light” have in a world full of “the works of darkness”?
- It may be easy to dismiss “big sins” from our lives like “orgies and drunkenness.” But what are some of the subtler sins we still practice in the dark?
- What do you think it means to “put on Christ”? What significance does that have in our lives over the “deeds of the darkness”?
- What deeds of darkness are you still perhaps practicing that the Lord has revealed to you today?
RESPOND TO GOD
Paul is calling believers to realize it is nighttime (the present, evil time) and that daytime (the time of Christ’s return) is almost here! His call is an invitation to live as though we are in the sunlight—to live in a way that looks like Christ would have us live; to “put on Christ” and embrace his direction and power and identify with his Spirit as we live each day. If we don’t choose to walk in the daylight now, his “divine flashlight” will shine on us one day and painfully reveal our deeds of darkness. Wouldn’t you rather respond to his invitation now and “walk in the daytime” today?
- Ask the Lord that your life today would be marked by his power and presence in your life as you wear the armor of light.