The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The 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.
Awake and Alert
Sin is like a blanket that shuts out the light. It can make us feel tired and feeble, and unaware of its consequences. We need to awaken from our slumber. It is not right to sleep during the day, for the day is for working. In the same way, we need to be aware of the time, so that we will do what we need to do. Jesus has warned us to be found doing the master’s bidding when He returns:
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
The time has come to make sure that everything is ready for the master’s return. We shouldn’t be doing things that are unwise, for Jesus’ return is imminent.
42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
We were once in darkness, and clothed ourselves with the deeds of darkness. We spoke the language of darkness, and identified with the darkness. The light had no place in our lives. We may not have even liked where we were, but we felt trapped and held in bondage. If we feel that way now, we need to throw off the deeds of darkness that bind us.
It is unbecoming of God’s people to walk around in darkness. We are ambassadors to this world, not of this world but in it. We are the image-bearers of God who have been shown how to properly bear His image and be a light on top of a hill. We have been given the opportunity to be salt to a bland and tasteless existence without God. When we walk in darkness, we suppress the truth with wickedness: we deny that God is holy through our very actions and speech. It is only after we take off the clothing of darkness that we can put on the armor of light.
Once we have shaken off the clothing of darkness, we need to put on the armor of light. Darkness and light don’t mix. Where light enters into an area, the darkness flees. That is the power of light – to dispel the darkness. Light exposes the darkness for what it is, and gives us the ability to see clearly so that we can move intentionally and with purpose toward the direction and goals that become visible to us. If we forsake the light, we forsake the tool necessary to awaken from slumber and the ability to work.
Let us put on the full armor of God, and when we have done every else, to stand:
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I doing what my master has asked me to do in preparation for His return?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You are light and dispel the darkness around us. Search me, O God, and see if there is any wrongdoing within me. Cleanse me of my sin, and show me the path to truth and righteousness, that I would bear Your image in a manner worthy of You to all people. Help me to be a light on a hill. Strengthen me as I wade through darkness today that I would not be affected by it, and cleanse me when my feet get dirty. Remember me, O God, that I would honor and glorify Your name in all things at all times. Forgive me when I fall short, and restore me in Your presence. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.