Text: Romans 13:8-14
To begin a spiritual habit
For perseverance in a spiritual habit
For patience under God’s hand
“THE NIGHT IS FAR GONE; THE DAY IS AT HAND.” Paul, in urging his readers to “wake up,” reminds us of the third point about discipleship: discipleship is developmental.
As we’ve been discussing, Christian discipleship is relational, intentional, developmental:
+The disciple of Jesus is called to life with Jesus and into a particular community.
+The disciple of Jesus is called to practice certain habits.
+The disciple of Jesus lives in that particular community and practices those certain habits over time.
That last phrase “over time,” is a troublesome stumbling block to many of us. Being with that particular community and practicing those certain habits take time, and many of us moderns make one of two mistakes with regards to time.
The first type of mistake is thinking that we have all the time in the world, that the dawn is still far off, that we can begin practicing “later.” Paul has a ready answer to that in 2 Corinthians 6:2—now is the favorable day, now is the time of salvation! As we read in Romans, the night is far gone, so learn how to put on the armor of God before you need it!
The other mistake is thinking that we have no time, that everything must happen immediately, that these Christian habits are always a potential waste. So, we scour the Scriptures, grab two or three morsels, shove them down and run out the door. We come to worship but are already thinking about what we will do when it’s over and we can go—watching the sweep of the clock the entire time. It is always what can we get now, what can we use now, what is useful now—and God does not work like that. God sees that our lives are in his hands and from his perspective we have all the time that is needed.
The cure to our misunderstanding of time comes in two parts. The first is to realize that we must slow down and deliberately take in the work that God is doing. God’s work in the world is both immensely large and incredibly small; if we simply blaze by on our way to somewhere else, we will miss most of the details, most of the important stuff.
The second part of the cure is simply to begin.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks