Today is the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the celebration of the new law of the land that all slaves were free as it made it’s way to the last state that still held onto the evil sin of slavery. 155 years later and America has come a long way, but we are still plagued with racism running rampant through our land. And it is not just white against black, it’s all colors against any color that is not their own. We need to stop seeing color all together. Stop labeling each other by the color of our skin, and see each other for the content of our character. Righteous lives matter. Good lives matter. Kind lives matter. Christ-like lives matter. If you want your life to matter, than live a life that matters.
As I have spoke this whole week, last Saturday I celebrated a life that truly mattered. Many spoke of this amazing woman as “one in a million,” and that thought got me thinking. She was more than one in a million, she was a once in a lifetime sort of person. She was one. A kind, loving soul, always smiling, always pouring her heart into her family and friends. One in infinity, because we keep growing as mankind, and there have been billions of people before each of us found our way into this world.
We are all a one. A completely unique creation that is unlike any person ever before, and any person that ever will be. You are a living, breathing, walking miracle. So act like one. Act like you only have one shot at this life here on Earth. Act like the special person you are. Act like a person loved and cherished by your Creator. Act like a life that does matter, by the way you treat others and by the way you live a life for others. Stop waiting for a miracle to come, when you can be one.
11And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:11-14)
Paul delivers a “wake-up call” nearly 2,000 years ago. Almost two millennia before today, Paul realized that our salvation was nearer than when we “first believed.” The letter to the Roman Church is believed to have been written in AD 57, that’s 1,963 years where we have had this reminder to us. You have had the Bible available to you ever since you learned to read. And while you would have had to reach a mature age to truly understand it, the truth in the verses above goes largely ignored through most of our lives. I know that for at least 12 years of my life, you could tell me until your face turned blue to “put aside the deeds of darkness,” and I would have just blown you off. From the time I gained the freedom of becoming an 18-year-old “adult,” until when my daughter came into my life, I lived for the night. While my “debauchery” was tame, I still spent many nights at bars, clubs, and in drunken splendor. And never had I ever heard, or read, these wise words from Paul.
I think it would be impossible not to expect the youth of the world to not go through a phase of enjoying the desires of the flesh. The challenge is to get the world to break the cycle and work towards living in the light and enjoying life in the presence of Jesus more than the presence of His enemy. I know from my experience, my life has been much more rewarding the closer I draw to Jesus. Now I sleep through the night and live for the mornings, because it is in the day that I bask in the glory of God and the wonder of His world. But we can have that same enjoyment in the night if we just separated the sin from the darkness. As Paul reminds us so many years ago, it is time to wake up, weary sleeper. This year needs to be the year we have a generational wake-up call out of the darkness and into the light.
Reading plan: 1 Corinthians 7, 8
Deeper reading plan: Psalms 141, 142, 143, 144, 145
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Free for all Friday-4 exercises at descending intervals (you’ll need a watch for this). First set is 60 seconds of straight work, second set is 50 seconds, third set is 40 seconds, and so on until your last set is just 10 seconds of work. Break for 10 seconds after each round (one round is all four exercises).
- Flutter kick squats
- High knees
- Leg lifts