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Darlene

Romans 13:11-12

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Heavenly Father,

 

What a whirlwind of a week this has been. It's been loaded with intensity, fears, concerns, temptations, exhausting physical work, exhausting mentally. There was much accomplished through all that though...birthdays celebrated, hundreds of bales of hay hauled and stored properly, construction in the house continues to progress, potential accidents were avoided and through it all I see Your hand, most times in small, subtle ways, covering my life because You are a faithful God.

 

But Father, for the past 24 hours, my heart has been heavy and burdened. For the first time in quite a while, I'm out of sorts with You because I made a decision that I knew was wrong, but did it anyway. That's my old behavior, throwing caution to the wind and just barreling my way through, but over the past couple of years You have been doing a work in me that has been changing me. The biggest change is how important You are to me, how much I love You and need You and want You first and foremost in my life. So, when I make a choice that removes You from that position and places my will back front and center, it scares me and it hurts because I know that road all too well.

 

So yes, I'm going to say this publically even though nobody knows the details but You and me because I'm serious when I say, please forgive me and that I repent and will do whatever You would have me to do, to turn back around and place You first and foremost in my life. I'm not saying this out of fear of You, I'm saying it because I cannot bear to live outside of Your will for my life, no matter how hard that is for me at times. Your peace and Your grace always bridges the gap and I have learned how to trust You even when I don't understand, or even disagree.

 

I sit here and marvel that just a few short years ago I would have been able to shut down my conscience and move forward in defiance in my will alone. The fact that I cannot do that any longer just surprises me. Perhaps it shouldn't surprise me...right is right, wrong is wrong, but there it is...a not so pretty side of my life that is embarassing to remember.

 

So, Father God, may Your peace and forgiveness wash over my heart. May Your will and not mine, guide the steps I take today. May the fear that keeps saying, "what have I done?" be replaced with Your holy peace and may I rest in the grace that You so freely offer.

 

I need to do a Romans study this morning. I need to get into Your Word and feast on Your truth so bless this study today Father. Open my eyes that I might see what You would have me learn. For the record, I cannot walk this road You have laid before me. It is laden with too many burdens, too many things that have a critically high cost, too many areas where I can fall and fail so I refuse to take one more step unless, as Moses said in Your Word...unless You go before me because it is You, and only You, that I trust. And it is You and You alone, that can bring me safely through. So You're going to hafta do it Lord because my heart can't take failing You again.

 

And then...this song comes to mind...

 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus:

 

 

I love You Lord.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

11. And this, knowing the season, that already it is time for you to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer to us than when we [first] believed.

 

12. The night is far spent, and the day is at hand! Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

 

Watchman Nee comments on the word "salvation" in the 11th verse and states, "Referring to the final step of salvation, the redemption of our body, the full sonship revealed in 8:19, 21, and 23."

 

The rvbv writes, "The hope of imminency of our Lord's coming, with the consummation of salvation in bodily redemption and glorification, is constantly used by the apostles in exhorting believers to a holy walk in love. This present verse sets before us the awful tendency to sink down (as did the ten virgins!) into slumber and sleep, - into a state of spiritual torpor in which no Christian duties are effectively done. Believers are to "know the season." Our Lord sternly arraigned the Jews of His day for their ignorance concerning "the time"; "When ye see a cloud rising in the West, straightway ye say, 'There cometh a shower; and so it cometh to pass. And when ye see a south wind blowing, ye say, There will be a scorching heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye know how to interpret the face of the earth and the heaven; but how is it that ye know not how to interpret this time? And why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?"

 

There their Messiah was, in their midst, and they knew Him not! Why? Because they did not apply themselves to know the time they were in, although they could have known it, both from the prophetic Word which was being fulfilled before their eyes in Christ; and also "of their own selves," if they had set themselves to judge truly of the moral conditions about them and the necessities of action involved therein. If the Jews even then were called by our Lord "hypocrites," for applying their God-given discernment to the signs of the weather, and neglecting to apply it to spiritual things, and so going on blindly to judgment; how much more this should arouse us who have so much greater light and knowledge, in view of Christ's death and resurrection, and the presence of the Holy Spirit; and the certainty of our Lord's coming, and our uncertainty as to the day and hour!

 

In the 12th verse, Watchman Nee comments on the word "night" and writes, "The present age is the nighttime. When the Lord Jesus returns, day will dawn. The next age, the kingdom age, will be the daytime."

 

The rvbv writes, "As long as our Lord was on earth, He was the light of the world (John 9:5). Since He is gone, it is spiritual night. But He now says, "Ye [believers] are seen as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life" (Phil. 2:15,16). Of course, it was night for the human race from the moment Adam sinned; and deeper night, as sin increased.

 

Our Lord's coming brought a brief day - a "day of visitation," and of actual blessing, if they received Him. His return to earth is spoken of as "the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in His wings," when it will again be day! It is good to know, in our wrestling with "the principalities and powers, the world-rulers of this darkness," that the night is far spent, the day is at hand. The word translated at hand is from the verb to "draw nigh," as in Matthew 21:1. Paul uses it in Hebrews 10:25: "So much the more as ye see the day approaching": and it is the same word in I Peter 4:7: "The end of all things is at hand" (drawing nigh). No matter what others say about the second coming of Christ, the apostles and the early Church lived in the expectation of it! Read Dean Alford's excellent comment below: remembering that as an expositor of Scripture he is rightly held in the very highest regard with respect to scholarship, sanity, and honesty, as well as devotedness to God:

 

("A fair exegesis of this passage can hardly fail to recognize the fact that the Apostle here as well as elsewhere (I Thess. 4:17; I Cor. 15:51), speaks of the coming of the Lord as rapidly approaching. Prof. Stuart, (Comm. p. 521), is shocked at the idea, as being inconsistent with the inspiration of his writings. How this can be, I am at a loss to imagine. "OF THAT DAY AND HOUR KNOWETH NO MAN, NO NOT THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN, NOR THE SON: BUT THE FATHER ONLY' (Mark 13:32). And to reason, as Stuart does, that because Paul corrects in II Thess. 2:1-3, the mistake of imagining it to be 'actually come', he did not himself expect it soon, is surely quite beside the purpose. The fact that the nearness or distance of that day was unknown to the Apostles, in no way affects the prophetic announcements of God's Spirit by them, concerning its preceding and accompanying circumstances. The 'day and hour' formed no part of their inspiration: - the details of the event, did. And this distinction has singularly and providentially turned out to the edification of all subsequent ages. While the prophetic declarations of the events of that time remain to instruct us, the eager expectation of the time, which they expressed in their day, has also remained, a token of the true frame of mind in which each succeeding age (a fortiori) should contemplate the ever-approaching coming of the Lord. On the certainty of the event, our faith is grounded: by the uncertainty of the time our hope is stimulated, and our watchfulness aroused.")

 

Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness - In Ephesians Five, after speaking of the "sons of disobedience," Paul says: Be not ye therefore partakers with them; for ye once were darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Now Paul had said the saints had put off the old man (when they were put into Christ). Now they are to put away, or cast off as not of their new life, all evil things. See Colossians 3:8,9; and Hebrews 12:1, - for it is the same Greek word as the one there rendered "lay aside." The "works of darkness" are to be "put away," "cast off". And since "our old man was crucified with Christ," we see we can put them away! Let us put on the armor of light. This is a marvelous exhortation! Modern warfare has contemplated throwing upon the enemy mighty electric lights of such overwhelming brilliancy as to completely dazzle them. We all know how approaching automobile lights often blind us. In the remarkable passage of Luke 11:33-36, our Lord says: "If therefore thy whole body be full of light, having no part dark, it shall be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining shall give thee light." This is the redeemed one whom Satan hates and fears, - one filled with light, armored with light. A blaze of light is harder to approach than swords or bullets. Our Christian armor, piece by piece, is described in Ephesians 6:11-18. But here it is more our "walking in the light, as God is in the light," that is in view. Since we are "light in the Lord," let us so walk and war!"

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Keep me in the armor of Your light. This is my prayer today.

 

In Jesus Name,

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