CLOTHED IN CHRIST
Getting dressed each day is important. But it’s also a daily chore … this putting on of clothes. Wouldn’t you agree? Some days I do the clothing thing well. I put thought into my wardrobe and walk out the door looking put together. Other days – well – I get by. Barely. The poor innocent bystanders at my daughter’s preschool are the most unfortunate victims of my early morning dressing routine. They see me each and every morning at drop-off in the same comfy pants and T-shirt, my hair pulled back with no makeup on. Trust me, it isn’t a pretty sight.
It was during this daily chore of dressing, however, that the quiet voice of the Lord began talking to me about the importance of what I put on each day. Although I would have loved some “what should I wear today” advice as I stood with a blank stare at the clothes in my closet, God wasn’t talking to me about what I needed to put on physically. His focus, not surprising, was geared toward the spiritual. Over the next few weeks, He began leading me to many familiar verses from His Word that deal with the issue of “putting on”… And so my studying began.
Throughout this study we will be inspecting the wardrobe of none other than Jesus Christ. But we won’t be focusing on what’s lining the walls of His heavenly closet. Instead, we are going to be studying the traits that adorn the Son of God.
Day 1: Everyday Jesus
Please start by reading Romans 13:14 and write it in the space provided.
I really like the sound of that – to be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nothing in my closet and nothing in any retail store that would be of greater worth. The word “clothed” in the Greek is enduo, which means “to sink into, put on, clothe one’s self.”
What kind of clothes do you like to sink into?
When I am sinking into something, I guarantee it’s going to be something comfortable. I have never sunk in to a tailored dress or a pair of stiletto heels. Pajama pants and a T-shirt is my usual go-to. Come over most days of the week and you’ll catch me in one of these. And when I am all dressed up, the first thing I do when I get home is sink into something more comfortable.
That’s what I love about this verse. When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, we’re not putting on something stuffy and formal. We are putting on the very thing that we love the most, the thing that makes us the most comfortable, the thing that makes us feel the most at home.
Do you think about Jesus that way? Is Jesus “comfort wear” to you?
Why or why not?
For those of you who have a hard time picturing Jesus as someone you want to be comfortable with, let me ask you this: Do you remember when you learned to ride a bike for the first time?
A couple of years ago I experienced the adventure of life on a bicycle through the eyes of my eldest daughter, Haley. She was so excited to get a new, bigger bike. She had her eyes set on a pink one with a basket attached to the front – just the right size for her purse or any other necessity she might need on the road. And of course this perfect bike was without training wheels. As we wheeled her new bicycle down the driveway, I could see the thrill in my precious one’s eyes. That is until she sat her tiny rump on the seat and tried to push off the curb for the first time. Fear flashed across her face as she quickly lost balance and fell to the ground. According to my daughter, this beautiful new bike was just not comfortable.
It took a little convincing, but eventually Haley did learn to stay on that fancy pink bike. With a little practice and loads of faith in her mommy’s tight grip on the back of her seat, she learned to ride with comfort and ease.
Now I’m not saying that life with Jesus is like riding a bike. But – just maybe understanding how comfort can change with time, like in riding a bike, will help you to imagine a time when your comfort with our God might change too.
The amazing truth is if you are in a personal relationship with Jesus you have already made the first step in being clothed with Him.
Read Galatians 3:26-27 and note when the Lord became part of your wardrobe.
On the day of your salvation, Jesus provides the clothing needed for each day. Now it is our job to choose to put on his likeness each and every day. God will not force himself upon you, but He is delighted each day when we choose to fully step into our relationship with Him.
Essentially, Jesus wants to become our “everyday wear”. Read John 15:4 and fill in the blanks.
___________ in me and I will __________ in you.
Most translations read “remain” but I love the seldom-used word in the King James Version: Abide. According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, the word abide means, “to remain, to continue to be present, to be held, kept, continually, to endure, to remain as one.”¹ Read the definition again and underline the words that stand out most to you.
It’s no wonder this word abide is so scarcely heard. What a rare thing it is to continually stay connected to anybody. We live in a world where every commitment that is made can easily be broken. There is always a way out, a loophole or a backdoor to take if something better comes along. You do not have to look far to see the covenant of marriage unraveling. And ask almost anyone in the business world; they’ll tell you “our word is no longer our bond.”
With one word, abide, we are invited to participate in a sacred never-ending romance with our Savior. “Abide in me and I will abide in you.” Jesus is asking us to commit ourselves and remain connected to Him for the long haul.
Now read Matthew 11:28-30.
Have you ever seen a yoke before? It is a wooden bar or frame by which two animals (like oxen) are joined together at the head or neck for working together. This illustration gives Jesus’ listeners a picture of what it looks like to abide in Him. The yoke is a picture of being physically connected to Jesus.
In Matthew 11:28 when Jesus bids us to come, He was actually inviting us to come and stay. He never intended for you and me to come and go whenever we think we need Him, although that’s how most of us function in our everyday walk. Jesus’ initial intention – His true intention – is “come and stay.” Jesus desires unbroken fellowship with us, where our whole lives might be spent in complete intimacy with Him.
Consider this: “Who would, after seeking the King’s palace, be content to stand in the door, when he is invited in to dwell in the King’s presence, and share with Him in all the glory of His royal life? Oh, let us enter in and abide, and enjoy to the full all the rich supply His wondrous love hath prepared for us!”²
When you think about your relationship with Jesus, do you think you have spent more time in the doorway or have you enjoyed the blessing of living in the presence of the King of Kings? Why?
We have done well to come, but we would be doing much better if we were to come and stay.