Romans 13:11

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.

The FedEx Cup playoff events begin in less than three weeks. This time of the season also means players hovering around the 125 ranking need to also be bearing down to retain a future on the PGA Tour. It seems the urgency does not “kick in” for many on Tour until this week. Inevitably, many who are on the edge will recall each missed three foot putt, dubbed chip, and careless shot at the end of a Sunday round when not in contention. Less than five key strokes over the course of a whole season usually separate the 123-127 positions.

It is indeed time to awake from our sleep. This devotion may seem like it’s headed toward a “today is the day of salvation” sermon for the lost. However, Paul went the other way in Romans 13:11. He preached to believers that it was due time for them to wake up. Many had seeped into a lackadaisical and a content state of being. Does that sound or feel familiar? We as Christians have a limited time remaining to make a difference in the lives of those around us. Sadly, many of our friends and family are on a road to hell. Many profess to believe in God, attend church regularly and give vegetables from their gardens to neighbors. However, we have failed to emphasize that these attributes and convictions do not amount to salvation. “Waking up” begins individually. We must have a desire to restart a habit of dedicated prayer and Bible study. When we are awakened internally, we have a desire to see others saved. We have a deep conviction for lost souls. We begin to stop thinking and start doing. It is not sufficient for us to concern ourselves solely with the salvation of our spouse and family only. They are in a sense only a greater self. I was contacted to write a devotion for an unnamed company. The manual or guidelines for its devotions said to never sound too preachy or judgmental. Additionally, it’s never a good idea to use the words “should” or “must”. This may be part of the problem. Paul in his writings seemed to disagree. In Romans 10:14, he proclaimed, “how then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” We all have a specific duty. The lost need to see “something different” from the Christian acquaintances around them. Consider the PGA Tour player who flounders below the 125 ranking and without status otherwise. How foolish would it be for him to declare at the beginning of the season, “I’ll wait until the Barracuda and Wyndham Championships to make my move!”? We agree that “deathbed confessions” are possible, yet many fail to realize that this last second salvation is neither promised nor likely. Man cannot be saved on his own schedule as much as he wants it to be that way. In John 6:44, Jesus taught, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” We must take every advantage to witness to the lost as we are led by the Holy Spirit. We are closer to Glory today than we have ever been. However, the lost man (unless he changes his course) is closer to hell today than he has ever been. We must wake up!

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