Friday, October 21, 2016

Clothe Yourself

We start with our minds, because from them come the thoughts of our hearts that become actions.  What do we think? What do we put on? Clothes are put on for warmth, modesty, strength, camouflage and symbols of power. But God wants us to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5). Our lives are not about having our own way. Really? You could have fooled me says the world.

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love which binds them together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-15).

Holy living is hard; in fact it is impossible without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit for those who trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Try as you might, you may do good things, but not with the love of the One who gives grace and mercy to us. These virtues listed are all related and speak to a heart that is fully submitted to God not self. It is not all about me. In fact it is not about you or me at all. It is about God and His will for us in Christ Jesus. Many of you will be tempted to sign off at this point, because I have said an intolerant thing. Just your desire to stop reading says that you are being convicted of your own selfish desires. I guarantee you that I too am overwhelmed by this admonition. Why? Because I cannot do it without the indwelling Holy Spirit conviction, counsel and guidance day by day and hour by hour.

Throughout Scripture God tells us to put on or clothe ourselves with His strength and dignity, humility and splendor. I love what Isaiah 52:1 says, “Clothe yourself with strength, put on the garments of splendor.”  This is an intentional act, the putting on or taking off the good or the bad. We must desire to be clothed in Christ. In the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were clothed with animal skins that were sacrificed for their protection and modesty. They had not only lost their innocence. They had lost their way by following the Evil One, Satan. They were following their own desires, which were the opposite direction of God’s. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

You have turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent” (Psalm 30:11).  That’s what God does as we clothe ourselves in Him. Clothe yourself with the splendor and majesty” (Psalm 45:30). Even then your weeping and sorrow or pain is made beautiful in His flowing love.  For the woman of noble character, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” Proverbs 31:25). 

It is clothing us with God’s power and love that brings our victory in life. Jesus said to His disciples, “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Rejoice! He has sent His promised Holy Spirit to all believers that we may be clothed and indwelt with Him. This is the majesty, splendor and strength we have in Him. It is also the compassion, humility and love. 

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