Our scripture this morning is Romans 13:11-14.

Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daytime: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.

Paul encourages us to “know the time” (v. 11), to understand that we must act quickly and decisively to choose to follow Jesus. If we are aware of the truth of Christ’s coming but still maintain our old ways, it becomes increasingly difficult to change. Our plans and schedules are meaningless in the coming of God’s kingdom.

The apostle Peter warns us to “Change your hearts and lives! Turn back to God so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). The Lord has made a marvelous provision to free us from sin but we must choose to accept His mercy through the sacrifice Jesus has made for us. While we certainly cannot save ourselves, we must respond to God’s offer of grace or we are lost.

The time to act is now! Jesus calls each of us into a new connection to God the Father, no matter what we have done, no matter who we are. Through His gift to us, we can be restored to the relationship we enjoyed at Creation, and walk with the Lord in faith to share His love with everyone.

Gracious God, we are slow to change and even slower to love each other as You intend for us. Help us to see the joy of being part of Your plan and the blessing of eternal life with You. Amen.

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