(Part 15)


November 27, 2016

Today’s reading:  Romans 13:11-14

“For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed” (v.11c). Each new day is a step forward nearer to the fullness of salvation. As such, we need to be prepared. This happens as we grow in holiness unto the Lord. “Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (v.12b). What do we need to do?

We “conduct ourselves properly as in the day” (v.13a). We are children of light. We do not perform works done in darkness. We do not engage in sexual licentiousness, “not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness” (v.13b). These sins should be obvious to us.

But there are other serious sins that might not be that obvious, sins that are also committed in the dark recesses of our hearts, such as “rivalry and jealousy.” (v.13c). These sins have the added effect of bringing disunity in the body. They are committed by leaders who in fact should work of unity and peace. Leaders are mere servants, and there is no room for rivalry, which seeks to exalt one’s self and one’s work as against those of others. There is no room for jealousy, which also desires to be exalted over the position and success of others. The authentic servant leader simply serves, not looking for prominence or position.

Our model is Jesus himself, who came not to be served but to serve, who took the lowest place, who became the least of all. So we “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (v.14a). We strive to become other Christs. As such, we “make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” (v.14b). What are such desires of the flesh that end up leading to disunity?

* the desire for power and position, by which a leader undermines others, even rebelling against authority;

* the desire to be better than other leaders, rather than humbly rejoicing in the success of others;

* the desire for comfort and convenience, which leads to people rejecting the hard teachings given, and then not moving along the path leading to the cross.

We have much work that needs to be done. In these urgent times, our community has to be united in Christ in order to be able to do more. “And do this because you know the time” (v.11a).

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