Check Out Your Clothes!

Check Out Your Clothes!

Do you realize that the Bible is concerned with how we clothe ourselves?  Isn’t that an interesting and provoking idea?

For example: 

  • We are invited to clothe ourselves with Christ in Romans 13:14.
  • We are instructed to dress modestly, with decency and propriety but also to clothe ourselves with good deeds in 1 Timothy 2:9-10.
  • Colossians 3:12-14 directs us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. It also prompts us to put on love which is the personality trait which binds all the others together in unity.

Out of all of these instructions, the encouragement to perform good works is probably one of the most frequently mentioned.

. . . having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.  (1 Pet 2:12 NKJV, emphasis added)

. . . who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.  (Tit 2:14 NKJV, emphasis added)

This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.  (Tit 3:8 NKJV, emphasis added)

The only way to truly clothe ourselves with good works and holy virtues is through the empowering and enabling grace that we receive through our ongoing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.  Walk in the “Clothing of Salvation”: 

  • The love of God,
  • The grace from God,
  • Faith in God, which is a gift from Him (Eph 2:8-9)
  • The LIFE of God, which is the indwelling Holy Spirit (Pro 12:28; 1 Cor 6:19)

Cling to your relationship with Jesus even as a drowning man clings to a life preserver thrown to him by rescuers.  Jesus provides new grace and strength for each new day, and He will never leave you nor fail you.  Glory to His Holy Name!

Faith and Wholeness

Faith and Wholeness

Notice that faith and wholeness are connected!  Even in the natural realm, if a person doesn’t have faith in their medical team or the medical facility’s reputation, their healing will be impaired or slowed.  If a person doesn’t believe that they WILL get better and if that person doesn’t talk about getting better, then their body will begin to obey their thoughts and their words.

Notice what the Bible teaches us repeatedly about the power of faith.

And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.  (Mk 10:52 ESV)

But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.  (Mt 9:22 NKJV)

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”  (Mk 5:34)

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.  (Mt 5:28)

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.  (Lk 1:45, emphasis added)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Eph 2:8)  Each believer has been given the gift of faith.  Let us use this precious gift.

We must place our faith in Jesus Christ!  We must exercise our faith in the power of the Word of God!  We must trust in the powerful, unrelenting, unconditional love of God for us.  He is our Healer; He has compassion [mercy] upon each one of us at all times.  God cannot lie (Tit 1:2), so receive the promises of the Bible as guaranteed! 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy . . .  (Ps 103:2-4) 

He Remembers that We Are Dust

He Remembers that We Are Dust

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  (Ps 103:13-14 NIV)

The Lord knows all about our frailties, and that our earthly bodies—formed from the earth—will one day decay and die.  We are compared to the grass which rises from the earth, and eventually wastes away and returns to it.

As human beings, we grow and mature and become strong and healthy.  We may be blessed with robust health, and even grow to be quite tall and attractive to others.  If we blossom in health and beauty, and riches and honor; even then we are destined to live only a certain number of years and then pass away, certain to be buried in the earth.

However, in spite of all of that, because the Lord made us in His own image, He has created us to be eternally valuable.  (Gen 1:27)  He calls mankind His special treasure. (Ps 135:4)

But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them.  Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath; 39 for He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passes away and does not come again.  (Ps 78:38-39)

Because God is full of compassion, He never turned His full anger upon mankind.  Instead, He demonstrated His great love for us by sending Jesus, His Son, as our Savior and Redeemer.  (Joh 3:16; Rom 5:8)

God has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Rom 5:2-5)  The Holy Spirit is our teacher and our guide.  (Joh 14:26; 16:13)

God has even made us conquerors through Jesus Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His powerful, unending love.  (Rom 8:37-39)  You are special in God’s sight, and you’re the apple of His eye!  (Zech 2:8)

The Lord calls you CHOSEN and PRECIOUS.  (1 Pet 2:4)  Glory to God!

Give What You Have

Give What You Have

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  (Ac 3:6) 

We can only give out of what we have received (or experienced) ourselves!

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  (Eph 4:32) 

Since God has forgiven us of ALL of our sins, shouldn’t we extend that same forgiveness to others? 

Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?  (Mt 18:32) 

This is where the master had forgiven his servant a huge debt.  Then this SAME [released] servant had his fellow servant put in jail, because he owed the released man a small amount of money!  Shouldn’t the released man have shown the same compassion that he himself had received?

Through these concepts, we can learn several things, among which are

  1. a) We must acknowledge the good things that we, ourselves, have received from our heavenly Father before we can minister those things to others. When we acknowledge that we have received compassion, we’re able to share compassion. When we agree that we have received forgiveness from God, we’re able to forgive those who have hurt us. 
  2. b) We’re told by the Lord in His Word that we should be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to others, because we have received those same things from God through Jesus Christ.
  3. c) We can only GIVE out of what we DO HAVE! Are you aware of all that you have in Jesus Christ?

Study what you DO HAVE in Jesus so that you may minister those wonderful blessings and gifts to the hurting and the needy.  The world is waiting . . . yearning for the manifestation of the sons (children) of God.  (Rom 8:19)

New Man, New Heart

New Man, New Heart

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him . . . (Col 3:9-10) 

In order to put on the “new man,” we need to put on a new heart, or new heart-felt motivations inspired by God’s love and grace.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (Col 3:12 NIV)

The reason that we have the ability to put on the new man, with his new heart, is due to the fact that we’ve been made new in Christ, our Savior.

  • We are born again when we are baptized (Jn. 3:3, 5).
  • We are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15).

Paul instructs us in this new way of living.

. . . that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.  (Eph 4:22-24) 

We bear with one another and forgive each other.  (Col 3:13)  We put on love, the perfect bond of unity, and are unified with our brethren.  (Col 3:14)  We allow the peace of Christ to rule in our hearts, and we are thankful.  (Col 3:15) 

As we obey the Bible passages in Colossians, we are given wisdom and insight into how to live this blessed way of life.  As we obey the Word, we are transformed into people of prayer with a thankful attitude who have godly wisdom towards unbelievers.

We are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power.  (Col 2:10)  Walk in this wonderful newness of life! 

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 1

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion . . . Blessed are all who WAIT for Him.  (Isa 30:18 NIV, emphasis added)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the Lord.  (Ps 27:14 NIV, emphasis added)

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.  (Joh 1:16 NIV)

In Isaiah 30:18 (above), the author mentions that God rises to show us compassion or mercy.  He has done that through the gift of salvation and many answered prayers for each one of us.  In John 1:16 (above), the author states that we have all received blessings from God.  All believers have experienced the goodness and generosity of God and of His love. 

What do the verses above mean when they talk about “waiting for the Lord”?  I believe that they can refer to two different concepts.  The first is about waiting for the Lord to answer our prayers and supplications.  The second is about “waiting on God”—spending time in His presence and waiting to hear His voice and His wisdom.

As we wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, it’s a good idea to encourage ourselves with Scriptures that demonstrate that God has already provided the answer to our needs.  For instance, if our need is for healing, meditate upon the many verses in the Bible that show us that God is our healer and Jesus purchased healing through the atonement. 

For Scriptures about healing, see:  Prov 4:20-22; Deut 7:15; Exod 15:26; Jer 30:17; Isa 53:4-5, 58:8; Ps 30:2, 41:3, 103:3, 147:3; Mat 4:23-24, 8:2-3, 17, 9:20-22; 1 Pet 2:24; and Gal 3:14. 

If you have a need in some other area, find Scriptures that support the concept that God has already given us all that pertains to life and godliness as well as the fact that he withholds no good thing from His people. 

For encouraging Scriptures, see:  2 Pet 1:3; Ps 23:1, 34:10b, 37:4, 84:11; 1 John 3:21-23, 5:14-15; Rom 8:32; Mat 7:7, 11, 19:26, 21:22; Mark 9:23, 11:23-24; Lk 17:6; Joh 14:13-14, 15:7, 16; Col 1:12-14; 1 Cor 1:20; and Eph 1:3.

Today’s reflections have given us some worthwhile ideas on how to wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, and to do so with an attitude of faith.  

(Parts 2 and 3 on this topic will be posted soon.)