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

This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

Paul warns us that we don’t know when Jesus will return for us, and “time is running out”. He urges us to “wake up, for our salvation is nearer than when we first believed”. We must be ready for this, keeping His teaching and sharing His love.

Like it or not, those of us who claim Jesus as their savior are always being watched. The world is observing how we live to see if it really makes a difference. If our words and actions aren’t different from those of unbelievers, why would anyone listen?

Paul counsels us to “remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living” so that we can show others how our relationship with Christ has changed us. Through His love we are empowered to reach out to make a difference in the world. Jesus has called us to be His representatives, telling everyone the Good News of salvation.

Gracious God, we are amazed that You choose us to be part of what You are doing in the world. Make us strong in our faith, and may we live as examples of Your love and mercy. Amen.

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