December 18

This time of the year the weather normally turns colder.  We move from being able to go outside in a T-shirt, to donning sweat-shirts and coats.  When we enter the home of a friend, they will often say, “Take off your coat and make yourself at home.”  I do not particularly like wearing a coat.  I don’t like the bulky feeling of the coat.  I am always glad to take it off and feel more relaxed.  God encouraged us to do the same thing.  Not with a coat, but with our sinful behaviors of the past.  Paul wrote, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

As believers, I think we all want to “put on the armor of light.”  In order to do that, we must first follow the instructions of this verse.  We must first “put off the works of darkness.”  It is important for each of us to realize that there is sin that can easily beset us.  You may not struggle with the sin that I struggle with, or that others struggle with, but the reality is that we are all doing battle with some work of darkness in our lives.  If I am ever going to accomplish anything for God in my life, it is imperative that I honestly look at my own life and the sins that I battle.  It is important that I run to the One Who can make a difference and confess, repent and be restored.

Paul’s advice is not only good advice, but it is very timely as well.  Notice his description and the urgency he gives this advice.  He says that the “night is far spent.”  This means that the time to put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light is NOW!  Time is fleeing away from us every day.  He goes on to describe that “the day is at hand.”  The day to do what God prompts your heart to do is not tomorrow, but today!  He stated in the verse prior to this verse that “now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”  There is a definite urgency to his instruction.

I am always happy to take off a heavy over-coat when entering a warm building.  I am equally thankful that God gives me the avenue to cast off the works of darkness!  He has told me that He is faithful and just … and that He will cleanse me from all unrighteousness and gives me forgiveness in its place!  What a great plan God has for us!  God has a perfect “replacement plan.”  He will take away our filth, and in its place give us forgiveness!  I can’t understand all that, and I have a hard time even believing it at times; but that is exactly what the Bible tells me He will do.

God will take my old, filthy, sin-riddled coat, and give me a sparkling, brand-new coat of forgiveness!  I’ll take that deal every day!

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