Wake Up Sleepy Head
Pastor Steve Ellison
Romans 13:8 tells me to owe nothing to anyone except love. That is because I have no ability to love on my own. Every ounce of love that goes from me to another, originated in God. I am commanded to love because God first loved me. I will never be able to match that love. Because God will never cease to love me, i.e. His love will continue to flow to me, then that love must also flow through me to others. Thus, I will never be able to pay off that debt. In spite of the fact that I could never pay off the debt, I am called to make regular payments toward the debt. Since I do not have it within myself to love, how in the world can I make any such payments? God has already answered that question.
Romans 13:11-14 reads, “Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” NASU This passage could be called the “Parable of the Sleepy Head”. As a believer in Christ, I should not remain in my slumber; instead I am commanded to wake up. Prior to my conversion, I lived in total darkness. I was converted to Christ when His Light dawned upon my soul. At that point, I was justified in God’s sight. Since that time, Christ has been doing a work in my heart day by day making me more like Him. Salvation is nearer to me than when I first believed meaning that one day God will complete His work in me. Then, I will see Him clearly and I will be like Him.
Evidently, according to verse 12, even though the Light has begun to dawn on me, I still do some deeds that belong to the darkness. This is wrong and it grieves God. Deeds of darkness come naturally to me. Naturally, I love me, not you. Naturally, I rebel. Naturally, I am selfish and self-seeking. Naturally, I want to sin. Trying real hard to love will not get the job done. Love is not a human work. Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. My responsibility is to wake up and “put on Christ.” Then and only then will I bear fruit. Verse 14 seems to paint a picture for me, showing me how to become capable of loving. I must wake up and put on Christ. God uses the most routine, mundane, repetitive activities to remind us of spiritual truth. Every morning when I arise and get dressed, surely God intends for me to remember that I am also to “put on Christ”, to be clothed with Christ. That is my only hope for being able to make any payments whatsoever on the debt of love that I owe. If I will simply be a branch attached to His Vine, He will bear the fruit of love and the world will be drawn to Him. …….…..firstname.lastname@example.org