The Armor of Light

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

—Romans 13:11–14

The “do this” that Paul is talking about is loving your neighbor as yourself, as stated in verses 8–10 of this same chapter. It is noteworthy that this reminder of love is attached to a reminder of the nearness of the Lord’s return. The exhortations that follow of walking properly and not in sinful behavior are also acts of love. We might well say that loving our neighbor speaks of our horizontal relationships with others, and walking properly speaks of our vertical relationship with God by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must also remember that love, as defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, is a series of actions, not emotions. Paul is not telling us to feel good about other people and God since the night is far spent; rather, he is saying to put love into action as the return of the Lord draws near. Christians have always been called to love, and that love is the very factor that informs the world they are Christ’s disciples (John 13:35). But in the last days, we are going to need one another more than ever, and love is what will get us through.

As time draws to a close, we are going to need to love one another and love God more visibly. The patient kindness and longsuffering found in love’s definition will be critical factors in last-days living. Because of the perilous times of those last days (2 Tim. 3:1), we will need one another’s love and support more than ever. We will also need to love God more deeply by living more and more distinctly from the world with each passing day.

I believe we are in the closing seconds of the grand scheme of things and that Christ is coming soon for His bride. I believe He is, even now, at the door. This means someone you will encounter today is going to need an expression of love. Someone is going to need a reminder that God is there for them, that He will get them through and provide strength to meet the day. Someone you meet will need a loving reminder that God will never leave them or forsake them. Someone will need to see your love for God manifested, or made visible, as you walk properly instead of in the ways and lusts of the world.

In these last days, love for one another will get us through, and love will lead others to our Savior as they see us love Him. So do this, knowing the time!

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

BARRY STAGNER

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