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The Clothes We Wear

I’m always so amazed when I’m in my closet looking for an outfit when I pass by something I’ve worn before at an event in my life, I’m taken back to that day.

When my eyes set on my wedding gown that’s preserved in a box in my closet, I’m taken back to my wedding day.

When I browse by an ugly sweater I wore to a Christmas party I’m taken back to that day.

When I peruse past a certain dress, I’m taken back to the day of the funeral, the ball, the function I attended.

Why is it every shirt, pair of shoes or dress I wear just by looking at the outfit I’ve worn before, my mind takes me back to that memory of the day of the clothes I’ve worn.

Yet when I put on those clothes I am branded with the memory or feeling associated with those clothes.

My memory is my memory regardless of the clothes I wore, yet I identify myself with them.

The clothes I wore don’t define me.Click To Tweet

The clothes I wear don’t make me who I am.

The clothes I wear don’t make me more important.

They don’t give me more value.

They don’t prove anything.

They are just mere clothes I wear.

So how do I rid myself of these associations?

By putting on a new wardrobe.

Colossians 3:10 MSG, “10 Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.”

Paul is telling the Colossians they don’t have to focus on past labels or the old fashions of life. He was teaching them when their focus was on their Creator, on what He had done for them, they were putting on a new wardrobe, a new self one that was free from their past.

Colossians 3:12 MSG

12 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

We have been chosen to live out a life of love and not bound to the mistakes of our past or ugly cycles of defeat. When we clothe ourselves with the loving kindness compassion of Christ we are putting on a new wardrobe, a new self.

So maybe the clothes I wear do define me?

The worldly clothes I wear don’t define me, but the clothing of Christ does.

I love the way Paul teaches because he uses analogies we all can relate to of physical, worldly things and translates them into the spiritual. He even tells the Colossians in (Col. 3:8 MSG), “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire.”

We don’t have to revert back to old ways, we don’t have to keep putting on that old wardrobe that keeps us cuddled up to our sins. We can take them off and throw them away for good never returning back to them because of the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Do you have the one stand out garment in your closet, the go-to garment you put it on and everyone recognizes its unique and different?

Paul gives further instructions and tells us about stand out garments.

“13 Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. 14 And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it”. (Colossians 3:13-14 MSG).

No matter what wear love. That is our go to, must have garment.Click To Tweet

When we put on love we are able to be kind, compassionate, humble, and forgive. We are able to leave behind the past allow ourselves to walk into the future filled with hope and freedom.

When we put on love we will be filled with God’s strength and discipline. We don’t have to try with our own strength when we put on love we are free from our sinful tendencies.

When we put away our bad tempers, irritability, meanness, profanity, and dirty talk, and put on love, others in the world will notice and recognize the love and compassion of Christ. And “When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too – the real you, the glorious you” (Colossians 3:4 MSG).

What kind of clothes do you wear?

What’s in your wardrobe?

A Prayer- Lord Jesus, help us get rid of anything keeping us in the past, keeping us from you. Help us get rid of our old worldly wardrobes and clothe ourselves with your kindness, humility, strength, discipline and above all else your love, God. I pray we will choose to wear love every day. May it be apart of our everyday lives, our everyday speech and actions. May love be our choice and response above all things, Lord. Help us put on a new wardrobe, one that you have created, never to put on our old wardrobe again. We thank you and praise you Jesus for who you are and what you are able to do. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Finding Victory in Our Messes

I have a confession to make.  There are certain areas of my life that are in a state of continual mess.  My desk is one of them.  I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there is something very comforting about my messy desk.  Maybe because it doesn’t demand me to keep a certain appearance of having it all together all the time.  Or maybe because it doesn’t nag me to clean it up?

Do you have an area of your life that is in a continual messy state?  

I struggle to keep my messy desk organized.  One piece of paper out of place leads to a pile, which leads to a mountain of open books, to a point I don’t know where anything is!  My messiness impedes progress to move forward in completing projects.  I get to the point where my desk is so messy I am forced to organize it.  Even though there is a place for everything, somehow in my busyness and distractions my desk becomes messy again.  The time I need to organize and put away things is easily replaced by other activities or commitments.  I have good intentions to keep my desk clean, but somehow the piles seem to always appear!

My desk is a reminder of how my one decision to not put something away, leads to a big mess!

Can you relate?

There lies a constant struggle within all of us, to keep our lives without messes.  Is this a realistic achievement to have a life without messes?  I don’t think so. I think messes are apart of our lives, whether they are physical or spiritual.  I think our messes are apart of our stories in which God has written.

My mess makes me think of Joseph in the Bible when his brothers sold him into slavery.  His brothers did not like Joseph because their father showed favoritism towards him.  Their jealousy took a turn for the worse when they plotted an evil plan to kill him.  Thank goodness one of their brothers had the sense to spare his life.  Instead, they plotted to throw him in a well and sold him to the Ishmaelites traveling to Egypt.  The brothers then decided to deceive their father, making him believe his beloved son was killed and devoured by a wild beast.  They even killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in blood to show their father, to make their whole story seem more believable (Genesis 37:12-36).

What a mess!  Their evil plot to kill turned into a lie, which turned into a conspiracy of deception–selling their brother into slavery!  I can’t imagine how their father felt, thinking his son died, but was really deceived by his own sons and didn’t even know it!

Oh, what God can do with our messes.  

Little did Joseph’s brothers know, what they intended for harm, God intended for good to accomplish His greater plan (Genesis 50:20).   What the brothers thought would be the downfall of Joseph, God used to equip Joseph all for His glory.

Joseph had been a slave in Egypt for about 13 years.  In that time he learned much because he was a servant of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh.  He gained favor with Pharaoh when he was able to interpret one of Pharaoh’s dreams (Genesis 41).  Joseph’s dream saved Egypt from a great famine that devastated many lands around them.  Unknowingly, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food, not knowing their brother Joseph was there, in a place of power.

In Genesis 45, Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, letting them know he indeed was still alive and had power in the land of Egypt.  He was able to spare his family from the famine by supplying them with much food, and land for their flocks and herds.

What an amazing surprise for Joseph’s father Jacob, to discover his son Joseph was still alive!  Joseph could have repaid his brother’s with revenge, but instead, he chose to love them despite selling him into slavery.  Even though Joseph’s brother’s intended to harm him, God was at work the whole time.  He turned the brothers’ horrible decision into one of the most glorious plans ever!  

There is Victory in Our Messes!

Can you relate to Joseph’s story?

Have you been in a mess and felt like there was no way out?

I promise you can trust that God is at work in your life.  If God can deliver Joseph from slavery making him a powerful ruler over Egypt he can deliver you from your circumstances.  Stay faithful in prayer, I promise God is listening!  We may not always see what God’s plans hold, but can trust he has something better for us just ahead!  (Jer. 29:11).

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