Briefing: Do you wear body armor when you are on the job?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 13:12-14.
On the Street: Law enforcement officers work in some dark places. When you work in the dark it is hard to see the evil around you. Being in the darkness makes it harder to keep your bearings. Being surrounded by darkness makes you rely on senses other than sight. Working in the dark is one of the most dangerous environments you can be in. To combat this we like to turn on the lights. Paul gives us some good news, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” This darkness represents Satan’s rule on this earth. His rule is just about over and the time of Jesus’ return is almost here. Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
Jesus said, in John 9:4-5, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Is this just talking about when Jesus was here with His disciples? No, in John 1:4-5 it says, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” We have Jesus living in us and He is our light. We are small lights living in a dark world. Think of Christians as stars in the night sky. They do not put off enough light to turn night into day but they are recognized as light. Jesus is like the light of the sun. When He was in the world no one would have been able to see the stars because the light of the Son was so much greater. Now that there is darkness, we must do our best to be the light that God has called us to be. Paul says we do this by “putting on the armor of light”.
This armor of light is the very nature of being a Christ follower. Jesus is the true light and we try to reflect His light to the world. It is the same principle as the moon. The moon does not produce light, it only reflects the light of the sun. In the same way, we are called by God, to reflect the light of Jesus to the world. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.“
Paul continues this in verse fourteen when he says, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” When you clothe yourself in something you are putting it all over you. When you wear a law enforcement uniform, you clothe yourself in law enforcement. You are recognizable from head to toe as a peace officer. There should be no mistake who you are or what you stand for.
There is no such thing as an undercover Christian. If you are hiding in the dark it means you are not wearing the armor of light and you are not clothed in Jesus Christ.
One last point; we have referenced “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” several times. This should drive home the importance of this thought. Paul ends this chapter by saying, “do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Your mind and your thoughts are so important to living a life dedicated to Christ.
Investigational Resources: 1 John 1:4-9, Ephesians 5:7-14, Psalm 119:105, The armor of God in Ephesians.
Officer Safety Principle: Are you wearing your armor of light? Do you take this armor as seriously as the body armor you wear on duty?
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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