Looking at Romans 12 & 13 but focus here on Romans 13:12-14.
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.
Romans 13:12-14 NLT
In the world but not of it.
There is a snake that lives just out side my back screened in porch but one day it was inside the porch!
My reaction to that snakes presence was ENTIRELY different when he was on the inside! I wouldn’t say that snakes are my biggest fear, however, they do creep me out, especially if there is nothing in between them and me, separating us.
This whole analogy caused me to think about how, since I accepted Christ I attempt to keep the world’s creepy ways out of my life as if my heart is a screened in area and I keep Christ inside & the ways of this world (Romans 13:12-14) out.
I also watched as a Hornet tried to get into the porch. It kept hitting the screen with determined attempts to get in but that screen, that filter, kept it from getting to me. I knew if it got in it would not only pester me but could sting and cause me harm.
One of the biggest problems with our back porch is that there are some holes in the screens and there is even a section where the screen has separated from the bottom aluminum panel and there is a large enough gap for an opossum, racoon or other larger creatures to climb in.
The best solution would be to fix the screen but just now I’m just not able to.
Until then, although the porch still offers some safety and comfort from the outside, I still have to put on some bug repellent and keep a keen eye out for critters & creepy things.
The last thought was how even the harmful rays of the sun were being filtered by the screen on the porch.
All these thought lead me to metephores of how we need the mind of Christ to filter things inside us that try to come out & to keep anger, hurtful things and preditors out.
Jesus has a way of cleaning us up from the inside out. He changes our desires and our nature that cause us & others harm. He fixes the holes in our screens as we fix our hearts & minds on Him.
Someday we’ll be completely perfected and go to a place in the Spiritual relm where sin & recklessness is kept out.
Another thought, if you knew there was a poisonous snake in the play ground where your children played you’d either go to another playground altogether, you’d cut the grass where the snake hides or you’d find that snake, get a shovel and chop its head off (kill the serpent!)
Christ is our screen, he is our filter, but ultimately He is our shovel.
He wants to clean our hearts (our internal home). Our inner man is like that porch. When we allow Christ in His Holy Spirit builds the screens, walls & doors so that inside we are made right. Then it’s up to us to allow Him to repair holes, clear things out and make us internally right so we are still in this world but we are equipped to keep out those things that would come in to not only pester us but eventually destroy us and take over.
It is a continuous process.
He is also the destroyer of all that is evil. In His death He was able to conquer and defeat death altogether. The serpent’s head is cut off. With Christ in control the snake has no sway, persuasion or power. The thing is, while we are still alive & in this world we can be easily persuaded by the devil.
If we live according to our own sinful nature we come to believe that we own it to ourselves to fulfill our own desires. It is only natural because we are still in the flesh but as we satisfy ourselves more & more with wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy (Ro. 12:12-14) we dissatisfy God.
God gives us this information & instruction, don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
That is why we have His Word, to instruct us and give us the tools to live pleasing to Him.
We can live the livestyle of a 👉 ROMANS 12 CHRISTIAN👈 (the chapter before the one we are looking at today)
Here is The Message Translation of Romans 13:12-14
But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.
The night is about over, dawn is about to break.
Be up and awake to what God is doing!
God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.
We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight.
Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute.
Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
Romans 13:11-14 MSG
As I read this my mind went to Colossians 3:12-17
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives.
Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:12-17 NLT
May you let The Lord put a hedge around you. Water & nurture that hedge to keep yourself surrounded with how to please God rather than yourself & in doing so find great satisfaction & wholeness.
Holiness unto The Lord.
In Christ, Beetle