Today’s Scrip-Bit   21 March 2022 Romans 13:12.

Romans 13:12.       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 armour of light.

Now that’s how a Monday morning ought to open, bright and sunshiny, especially a Monday morning as important as this one in the Province of Ontario, when the mandatory masking plans for most places will be suspended. Well, except for places like Public transit; Health care settings; Retirement homes; Long-term care homes; and Congregate care and living settings. The latter includes homes for the developmentally disabled, shelters and jails. However, on April 27 of this year, even those mask mandates are scheduled to be lifted. 

And that’s a kicker if there ever was one! Two years of mandatory mask wearing will hopefully end in another month! Glory be! But, please remember that doesn’t mean Covid will just disappear. I believe it will be with us for some time until we develop the much-needed herd immunity. However, until that stage is reached, and no one knows when that will be, we still need to be careful in all our doings. As they say, prevention is better than cure. And a whole lot of us learned that invaluable lesson over the last couple of years, unfortunately losing friends and family because of irresponsible behaviour. 

So please let it be a reminder that we can’t take anything for granted with all the negative stuff floating around, because Covid numbers are still high for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, and many people are still in hospitals and on ventilators. Consequently, we can only hope and pray that the situation doesn’t deteriorate, now that many of us will stop wearing masks. That means, as believers, we have to keep on being very diligent and responsible in our earthly walk. 

And I believe these words of Bruh Paul to the Roman church are quite appropriate for these current times. ‘And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 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 armour of light.’ (Rom. 13:11-12) Yes my fellow believers, it’s time for us to wake up, to get really serious about our duties and responsibilities as followers of Jesus Christ in this dark and evil world! 

And the scholars offer these explanations re those two verses. ‘13:11-12. Sleep means insensitivity to the demands of Christ on the Christian’s life. Now is our salvation nearer: The coming of Christ to deliver us from this sinful world grows nearer every day. The night is the time while Christ is out of the world, and the world has been delivered into the control of the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2- which basically reminds us that before we received Christ, we walked in that darkness). The day is a reference to the time when Christ will return and establish His reign of righteousness.’ 

And since the world only gets darker and more evil every day, we have our job cut out for us my people. We need to increase our efforts to be lights in this dark world. Like Bruh Paul said to the Ephesians: ‘And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved (exposed) are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.’ (Eph. 5:11-13) 

Oh friends, it’s obvious that we should not indulge in the sins of the unbeliever, but more importantly expose them, ‘bring them to the light and show them for what they really are, so that the unbeliever may see their hideous nature and their terrible consequences.’ For it’s shameful even to discuss that sinful behaviour in decent company. Thus, the necessity to bring them to light, expose them through Christ’s gospel, ‘for whatever sin is made manifest, is exposed, becomes light.’ But to do that successfully, we also need to put on the ‘armour of light’ because we are involved in a serious spiritual battle that cannot be fought without God’s protective armour. 

And Bruh Paul offers a serious warning on the subject. ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (humanity), but against principalities (rulers), against powers (authorities), against the rulers of the darkness of this world (world-rulers), against spiritual wickedness in high places (wicked spiritual beings). Wherefore take unto you (take up, put on) the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’ (Eph. 6:10 -13) 

Now that’s oh so true! As the scholars explain: ‘Because we face such a formidable foe, we must avail ourselves of God’s provision lest the enemy destroy our Christian witness and ministry, during the ‘evil day,’ that’s the demonic onslaughts and Satanic assaults that periodically come against us.’ Only God’s armour will help us to resist Satan, and once we put it on, we need to keep it on, since Satan will keep attacking us every so often. 

Now let’s remind ourselves of God’s armour, so we can get it all. They are, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, all encompassed in the mighty act of prayer. (Eph. 6:14-19) And talking of prayer, since we’re clothed in God’s armour, let’s go to God right now through our Monday Morning Battle Hymn to complete the process. 

As one voice: ‘Our Father, who art in heaven, we, Your humble servants, praise Your Holy Name and thank You this Monday morning for life and strong faith in Christ, despite the mass confusion in our world. We desperately need Your divine help, for You are the ONLY ONE with the power to solve our many problems. 

Heavenly Father, we admit that we have all sinned and seriously disobeyed Your Word, but we know that You are a merciful, forgiving and gracious God, who has faithfully promised to hear and answer our prayers when we humble ourselves, pray, and sincerely seek Your face. That’s why we come to You now, with sincere repentance in our hearts, pleading with You to give us wise guidance and direction to alleviate our problems. 

And Father, we pray that you will ease the pain of the many who are suffering from negative situations. Please show them Your awesome grace and mercy, and keep Your promise that You’ll hear our prayer, forgive us, and heal our land if we turn from our evil ways. Show this evil world that You are indeed Jehovah Rapha; the God who heals! We pray this in the holy and blessed name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen! And again, we say: Amen!’ 

Now, since we have invoked the name of Jesus Christ, it means we have to be on His right side, if we want the Lord to answer our prayer. And we all know what that entails. (smile) Much LOVE!

…Christians are soldiers in Christ’s army…and no wise soldier goes into battle without protective armour… 

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