It was 5:30AM and the alarm had just elevated its piercing voice and shook me out of my sleep and slumber. I really didn’t feel like getting up that morning. I mean I really wanted to steal a few more moments of blissful unconsciousness. It was one of those days where we had plenty to do. It was one of those days where we had to get up, pack the car, and get out on the road. You see it was time to take that long trek to see family members in a far away town. But like any trip, it required preparation. We had a lot to do. In fact, we had to do some things that we normally wouldn’t do at 5:30 in the morning. Because of this realization, I simply hit the snooze button every 15 minutes to prolong the sleep, but also the agony of realizing that I was stealing more and more time away from the preparations that needed to be done. However I promised myself that after this time hitting the snooze I would get up.
You ever felt like that? Sleeping, but needing and in some way wanting to get up, but our body wants to continue on in the daze of semi-awareness of what we must do. Wanting to sleep, but also wanting to awake and get the day started. The Apostle Paul is speaking to a group of people just like that. These Roman Christians were such that felt like hitting the snooze button and sleep a little longer. They wanted to continue living in the Roman world as if it would go on forever. They wanted to simply hit the snooze button. You know when you hit the snooze button you don’t have to get up. When you hit the snooze button you delay the final reckoning.
You know and understand what I am talking about. Some have just simply hit the snooze button on God’s plans for them. We are not ready to go forward so we do whatever it takes to lesson the call of duty or responsibility on our soul. Many have simply hit the snooze button. We have been sleeping and the time to wake up has come. The alarm clock is shouting at you to get up. Some folks alarm clock is a child that was unexpected and unanticipated. And too many of us have simply hit the snooze button to continue life as it has always been. Perhaps the alarm clock to your soul has been a graduation which means it is time to stop being a burden to begin bearing burdens, but then some just hit the snooze button. Perhaps the alarm clock to your soul has been the call of God into ministry, but instead of moving forward into God’s plan we hit the snooze button and go on to as if nothing has changed.
The snooze button is so comfortable. The bed is so comfortable. Sleep is so comfortable, but we also must acknowledge that this sleep after an alarm ain’t really sweet. When God needs you to get up the sleep is not so sweet. And sometimes God will do whatever God has to do to wake us up from that rest of semi consciousness.
This is the kind of sleep that caused Paul to yell in exasperation, “Wake up” in our text. Wake up. You have been sleeping. You have just continued to hit the snooze button every 15 minutes. But wake up. Time is running out. Paul reminds us that it is closer to the Second Advent than when we first believed. Paul reminds us that the night is just about to be over and it is day time. Wake up. You can’t continue to live in the day as if it is the day. Sleeping is alright during the nighttime, but it is day time now. Wake up. And that is the first thing that our text tells us to do today. The text is reminding us that it is time to Wake up because it is the time to do what God has called you to do.
But more than wake up. Paul is telling the Roman Christians and us that we gotta throw off some stuff. Your text says “put off” but that is not as strong as the original. The original says to “throw off” the darkness. You see when it is morning time you need to take some stuff off. When I got up that morning I had to throw off my pajamas. I had to throw off the covers. You see sleeping attire ain’t the same thing as day attire. Sleeping attire just keeps you comfortable for the night, but day attire is meant to help you in your efforts to do what needs to be done in the day time.
It’s day time yawl. It is time to throw off some stuff. There are people here who have some stuff that needs to be thrown off because its day time. There are some folk here today who are trying to live in the daytime as if it is night. Throw off that which needs throwing off. There is someone here today who is running with the wrong crowd. The crowd of darkness. The crowd of the night. The Bible says to throw off the darkness. Throw it off. There are some who still have on the clothes of their previous life. Throw it off. I want to be careful here, but there was a time when you could tell Christians by their dress. There was a time when Christians weren’t trying to see how high they could bring their dress up and how low they can keep their trousers. There was a time when Christians looked like Christians. It’s day time yawl. It is time to stop looking like you just came from the club. It’s day time yawl. Throw off some stuff.
But throwing off ain’t enough. Before I could go to do the work that was required for the day, I had to put on something. I had to put on my day clothes. I had to put on my work clothes. I had to put on my clothes. Paul tells you to put on Jesus. Put on Jesus. If you will be ready for the day you gotta wake up, throw of, and put on Jesus. Put on Jesus.
Taking off ain’t enough. If I had gone out to the car after having taken off, then I wouldn’t have been ready. A Naked man ain’t ready for the demands of the day. I had to put on something. Put on your day clothes. Put on Jesus. There are some Christians who are experts at what we shouldn’t do. And yet they don’t put on Jesus. If you don’t put on Jesus you are still just as unfit as if you left on all that mess you took off.
Well I finally got over my sleepiness that morning. I woke up. I woke up. It was a difficult thing to wake up when sleepiness is overtaking you. But you see I had things to do on that morning. I had things I had to get ready. I had to do some stuff. I woke up.
Because I had things to do, I threw off my sleeping clothes. I no longer needed them where I was going. Getting up was the hardest thing, but I had to take off them clothes. Once again taking off those clothes was hard, but I did it because I had an objective in mind, I had things to do.
Then I put on the things put on my clothes for my daily work. I knew that if I was to complete my work I had to put on the clothes that were the right job for the work. I got my work clothes yawl. I put on my comfortable sweats. I knew I was gonna work.
Somebody knows about getting ready for daybreak. You been trying your whole life to live a life sleep when you can only complete it when you are awake. So you battled with the sin that doth so easily beset you. You did this while asleep. You battled with the pains and hurts of the day. You did this while asleep. You attempted to do the will of God, but you were sleeping. But the big point is that it is time to get up…
I think I see somebody getting up. Come on and Get up. Come on and wake up. Oh yeas we got things to do. Remember how it is easier to get up when you got things to do. Get up, throw off, and put on. Wake up…Throw off wickedness…and put on Jesus. Somebody told me that it is hard to live the Christian life. It is hard to fight with sin. It is hard to continue battling every day of your life. And I understand what they are saying, but too often we try to battle sin while we are sleeping. Too often we try to battle wickedness while we are sleeping. But I say today…Wake up….Wake up…
You see just like with my early morning trip it is easier to get up when you got things to do. Well I don’t know about you, but I got things to do. I gotta walk on streets of Gold. I got things to do. I gotta talk to the elders. I got things to do. I gotta see my grandma and grandpa. I got things to do. I am going to go on over to Moses’ house on my way over the Jordan to Paul’s house. And finally, I gotta see Jesus, the one who died for me; face to face….I got things to do. And you got things to do, praise God.
Yes it is sometimes hard to do what God has called us to do, but the answer is simply wake up, throw off, and put on. When you feel like giving up…Wake up, throw off, and put on. When you feel like your work is in vain, wake up, throw off, and put on. When you think that your work is doing no good, wake up, throw off, and put on… For in a little while we will look up and see the master coming…
Let us sing a song that will
Cheer us on our way,
In a little while we’re going home;
For the night will end in the everlasting day,
In a little while we’re going home.
In a little while, In a little while,
We shall cross the billow’s foam;
We shall meet at last,
When the stormy winds are past,
In a little while we’re going home.
So I tell you today, come on and wake up, wake up, throw off, and put on with me today….