Journal Ro 13 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.
The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime—not in orgies and drunkenness; not in sexual immorality and sensuality; not in quarreling and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Observation: Winding up the Letter of Romans, Paul is offering up a few choice words…
Analysis: Statement or plain speaking, wrapped here and there in poetic metaphors, describing what perhaps I should be seeing with spiritual eyes.
The Hour is closer, every day. Is the Hour today? Is it tomorrow? For sure, every day that passes, we are one day closer to seeing the skies split and hearing the trumpet blow. How’s that for imagining and ramping up urgency?
So, what does Paul declare? What he has continually declared throughout Romans (and will continue to declare in other Letters), make no provision for sin in my life; put off the old man, and put on the new; put to death the sin that has life within me.
He even goes to describe some sin in particulars: Sexual romping, casual sex; drunken celebrations; immorality and sensuality; quarreling; being jealous.
Somebody might be reading this. “I am a church goer; I don’t do this stuff!!” If so, good for you. Another person may say “I don’t do this stuff…”, but really? Does transparency reign in the mirror? Or does the mirror reflect a fool?
I heard once upon a time that immorality is kind of the male thing; sensuality might be the province of the females. As a male, do my eyes linger over the female form? As a female, am I encouraging the fleeting glance, and do I like it?
How about quarreling? Jealousy? I must tamp down my desire to be right, and be jealous of the next man who got what I wanted…
The point I think that Paul is making over and over again is that: 1) I must understand the Gospel and how it works; 2) I must surrender and seek daily to surrender to the Holy Spirit; 3) the local Church is the holiness support group—how do I pursue holiness? With others that are chasing the same goal.
There are steps that the Holy Spirit must instill for there to be a Support system towards righteousness. Pray for that to happen…
Prayer: Father, I am putting myself out there now. Help me, O God, to leave this in Your hands. Take me in the next phase of my life as you will.
Please heal Debbie. Help me to be patient and humble and finish well.
Ricky Two Shoes