This is post is the final one in a 16-session blog series entitled The Christ Collection: Putting on the Likeness of Jesus. Each and every day, you and I, as Christ followers, can pull out a few of these beauties and slip into something comfortable. Hand-crafted masterpieces made for this world, so when we wear them, we can go out on Christ’s behalf, shining brightly like the Son. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Today’s Lectio Divina: Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3: 17 (MsgB)
So, there you have it.
The Christ Collection: Eight Holy Garments & Five Practical Accessories:
Compassion. Kindness. Humility. Gentleness.
Patience. Becoming Otherly. Forgiveness. Love.
The Peace from Christ. Thankfulness. The Word of Christ.
Good Common Sense. The Gift of Song.
As I see it, Paul does a bang-up job of offering us thirteen masterpieces. A collection of God-garments and accessories that, when worn regularly, will make you and me look like a million dollars….or at least, more like Jesus!
I realize, as I go over this list of gems, that there is one pre-requisite that all of us most adhere to before slipping on these beautiful garments. Paul addresses this requirement back in verses 9-11, and forgive me that we didn’t address it earlier on in this blog series. But, in truth, there is a reason I saved these verses until now. You see, I believe Paul’s words just might have a bit more significance now, after we’ve looked carefully in our closet, surveying the magnificence of our new wardrobe in Christ. So, with your kind permission, allow me to give you Colossians 3: 9-11 in The Message Bible (MsgB)…
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. 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. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
You see, in order to slip on the new wardrobe Christ is giving us, you and I need to throw off the old filthy set of ill-fitting clothes we’ve been wearing most of our lives, and burn them in the fire of Christ’s glory! Some Christian writers call this intentional choice, moving away from our false self and walking with Jesus toward our true self, or our true essence.
But, here’s the rub.
You see, there is always a moment in this transition from old to new where you and I will be found with no clothes on, standing before the fire of God! Naked as a jaybird, my grandmother from Missouri used to call it. And it’s in that nakedness, you and I can no longer hide behind the false masks we’ve used to defend ourselves from woundedness or pain. No. I’m sorry to say this. But it’s impossible to hold onto an old dirty towel to cover our nakedness when we want to transition from the old to the new.
We see this in the fascinating story of Bartimaeus, the blind man in Jericho, as he makes his move from blindness to sight, for the greater glory of God.
Then (Jesus and His disciples) came to Jericho. (T)ogether with a large crowd, (as they) were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. Mark 10: 46-50 (NIV)
Did you see that? (Sorry, no pun intended!)
As Bartimaeus moved from blindness to seeing, he threw off his cloak, jumping to his feet so he could be totally free to receive all Jesus had for him.
So what about you? What about me?
Are we ready to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, so we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us? (see Hebrews 12: 1)
The good news awaiting us here is that in Christ, all these things are possible. Or as Paul concludes his message to the Colossians here…
Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Now, my friends, let’s go out dressed in Christ, for His glory and His name’s sake.
My Prayer: Father God, I realize that to stand in front of Your blazing glory, I simply cannot remain dressed in the old rags that no longer fit who I am in Christ. Spirit, give me the courage and strength, like Bartimaeus, to throw off my old garments, stand before Your glorious truth, and be set free. For Your glory and for Your name’s sake. Amen.
A Few Thoughts to Ponder: So, what old filthy garments am I still trying to hold onto? Do I see these old rags as security blankets, once used to protect me from being harmed? Am I secretly storing away an old shirt or two, just in case God lets me down? What other resistance am I exhibiting, keeping me from totally throwing off my old garments? Am I willing to let “every detail in my life, my words, actions, whatever,” be done for the glory of the Master?
So, what are you experiencing as we ponder upon Colossian’s Christ Collection?
We hope you’ve enjoyed these 16 blogs that focus on the amazing garments and accessories God has hand-crafted for us so that as we wear them, we can better reflect the nature and likeness of Jesus of Nazareth. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
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