July 25, 2024

Wake Up!

Romans 13:8-14

Do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake from your slumber. . . .

—  Romans 13:11

I generally try to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. Often, though, I get less than that. And at those times when I’m a little “sleep deprived,” I can be a bit grouchy. Maybe you’re that way too. So why does Paul urge us to sleep less and not more?

Paul isn’t talking about restful slumber here. He’s talking about getting drowsy in our spiritual lives. After reminding us that love should be at the center of our hearts, Paul urges us to wake up from our spiritual sleepiness. He spurs us on to live with the commitment and vitality that we had when we first became believers in Jesus. Although we may not be guilty of the “big” sins Paul lists in this passage, we may well need to be reminded about treating our neighbors with love. In our attitudes and actions, it’s easy to treat the people around us—including those whom we love most—with less love than Jesus commands and they deserve.

I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but, sadly, I still need daily reminders to wake up from my spiritual slumber to love and obey God and to love and serve the people around me with the same urgent selfless love that God has shown me in Jesus. What about you?

Lord Jesus, wake us from our spiritual slumber to love you and others with the love you have shown to us. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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