Monday, September 6, 2010

Clothe yourself in Jesus

11And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The 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. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (Romans 13:11-14)

We are a society that is enslaved to time. There are many companies who have as their sole purpose, to make time saving devices. We have laptop and tablet computers, cell phones, pagers, PDAs or a host of calendar planners all to help us keep on schedule. It makes you wonder how in the world anyone accomplished anything before we had all these labor saving things. Many of us feel like we have too much to do and too little time to do it.
Part of the reason for this is that we are trying to do too much. We are pulled in so many directions that we aimlessly move from one demand to another. The key principle in most management seminars is to determine the things that are most important and then put your focus on these things.
This is the same thing Paul seems to be saying tt the end of Romans 13. After all he has told us about serving Jesus, using our gifts, showing genuine love, paying our debts, submitting to authorities and loving our enemies, Paul now writes a different piece of advice.
Paul tells us that we must understand the present time. We need to know what is going on.
Have you ever been awakened from a sound sleep? Perhaps you took a nap in the afternoon and you were awakened suddenly. At first you are dazed. You don’t know what day it is or what time it is. You weren’t sure whether it is morning, afternoon, or evening. Depending on how hard you were sleeping, it might take several minutes for you to regain perspective and to gain your bearings.
In a sense this is what Paul tells us we have to do. We must wake from our slumber and realize where we are. We are to recognize the present time. We need to understand that we live in a world that is hostile to the things of God. The values of our society are not the values of the Kingdom of God. We need to recognize that our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. I’m not sure whether Paul is telling us to realize that the second coming of Christ is nearer than it ever has been or whether he is simply trying to say, “life is short” and we had better stop wasting our time.
Notice something. Paul is not talking to non-believers, he is talking to the saints! Paul recognizes that many believers are living in a spiritual stupor. They are just going along without any real direction or purpose. It is almost like some believers are in a coma. Paul’s cry is for us to “Wake Up!”
We should be living with a new urgency. We must remember that we are terminal. We understand that we could die or Jesus could return at any time. Paul suggests that those who understand this fact will change the way they live. He uses the metaphor of changing clothes. He says we need to change from the deeds of darkness to the armor of light.
Our job is to get focused on what is truly important. We only have so much time and we ought not to waste it on things that are not really important.
When we wake up, we are to clothe ourselves in Christ. That sounds good but the question is, “What does it mean?” It means to get to immerse ourselves in Christ. It means working hard to get to know Jesus through Bible Study, prayer, listening to tapes etc. It means to try to live like Jesus would. The believer should always be asking: Is this something Jesus would do? Would Jesus get involved in the pursuits I am involved in?

It means to put on the traits of Jesus.
Put on his holiness.
Put on his beauty.
Put on his humility.
Put on his purity.
Put on his compassion.
Put on his wisdom.
Put on his forgiveness.
Put on his righteousness.
Put on his zeal.
Put on his patience.
Put on his love.

Clothe yourself with Jesus early in the morning and you will be well-dressed all day long. (Pritchard)

To use another metaphor, when you receive Christ, you have awakened. The next step is to get out of your P.J.’s and begin living life as someone who understands the big picture. Our job is to remember that we are to live like those who are dying, and to remember that those around us are dying as well. It is time to put on our clothes and let everyone know that we represent Jesus. We do this in the hope that those who are dying might also entrust themselves to Jesus, so they might live even though they die.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

No comments:

Post a Comment