Tuesday, April 18, 2006

pants around my ankles

Years ago on the cover of Life magazine, there was an image of a little boy dressed in a grown man’s pair of jeans. The boy appeared awkward in his new threads which fell around his ankles. Then, on the inside of the publication, you saw a changing picture, page after page, the boy grew into manhood. Eighteen years--eighteen images as he matured into the jeans.

Did you know that God is into clothes? Ever since the fall of mankind, God has been weaving this developing theme throughout the scriptures. I believe He is sending a message to those who will hear it.
Genesis 3:21 “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Luke 2:12 “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
John 19:2 “The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe.”
John 19:23 “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”
John 20:6-7 “Then Simon Peter went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.”
Romans 13:14 "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

If we look deep enough, we find out that this life will never make sense until we discover the common thread that holds everything together and reconnect the disconnected fabric of our lives. God designed us in His image-to wear his “label” and reflect his Glory. Yesterday we talked about Adam and Eve being clothed in His glory. What is glory? God’s glory is His nature and character on display. When you reflect upon this, you can envision a world with no clothes. Why would we need them? There would be no sin and no shame and no fear of being naked and exposed.

The problem is that apart from God we have no hope of displaying his glory. I believe the deepest fibers of our being cry out to be reconnected. This is why Jesus is so critical. Only He can take our man-made coverings-our sin tattered garments and give us new glorious clothing that makes us truly pleasing and beautiful to God’s eye.

“God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious secret which he has for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory.” Col. 1:27 NCV

Coming to the cross of Jesus is dying to the old fashions and trends. The resurrection means finding a whole new wardrobe. My whole image-my identity- my worth is now wrapped up in who He is. He is the secret fiber calling out from the deepest place of our intricate human design. For the rest of my life I will be “catching up” to what it means to be clothed in Him.

“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.” Col. 3:9-10 Msg.

“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. Be even- tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all- purpose garment. Never be without it.” Col. 3:12-14 Msg.

Granted, sometimes I feel like that little boy standing on the front cover of Life magazine with my pants falling around my ankles. But as I keep my eyes on Him, I feel myself growing into them, and I’m really starting to like the way they look on me.


"And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God- fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you." Eph. 4:24 Msg.

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