Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July 21, 2016

The dress code for Jesus followers has changed over the years. Original Christ followers wore robes and sandals just as He did. But if Jesus followers of 2016 were to dress like that it would be weird.

When I first started following Jesus the prevailing style was long-sleeved blouses and ankle-length skirts for ladies and long sleeved white shirts with skinny black neckties and black slacks. That's how serious believers dressed.

Shortly thereafter came a period of revival that reached all the way into the counter culture of the day giving birth to the "Jesus People" movement. Their dress of choice was often bell bottomed jeans, a t-shirt and either sandals or boots.

Not long after that came the advent of the double-knit leisure suit complemented by polyester wide collared shirts. Of course, you had to have a wide white belt to hitch up your trousers and platform shoes to compete your stylish statement.

Three piece suits became popular for awhile which meant a jacket with wide lapels, matching slacks and a vest. Match that with a nice dress shirt and wide tie and you were dressed for church or anything else worth going to.

Nowadays you can wear whatever matches your mood at the moment and no one really cares. Few even notice.

The point is the fickleness of the fashion world. Clothing styles change almost as quickly as hairstyles. If you have something that goes out of style store it in the attic because it will likely be stylish again.

But the wardrobe prescribed for Christ-followers in the first century by the Apostle Paul has never gone out of style. Nor will it ever!

Here's why:

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

Regardless of what's hanging in your closet or on the racks at Macy's if you are a follower of Christ you MUST choose to clothe yourself EVERY DAY with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Paul dressed that way.

The disciples dressed that way.

All the saints of the ages have clothed themselves that way.

Now all of them are clothed in the Glory of God in their eternal home!

Anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ but refuses or neglects to clothe himself with these Christ-like virtues is either misguided or mistaken.

So, how will you clothe yourself today?

July 20, 2016

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

When you are invited by someone famous to be part of something significant you are flattered but you also wonder what you should wear.

The Apostle Paul answered that question for all Christ-followers for all time. Because of the love that God has for His followers they are to express that love to others by clothing themselves with compassion, kindness, humility AND "gentleness" AND "patience".

"Gentleness" in this verse means "to adjust your strength to meet another at his weakness". Gentleness is the ability to help another who is struggling but and do it sensitively so he doesn't feel shamed or embarrassed.

A person clothed in gentleness does not help others from a position of strength or superiority.

"Patience" literally means "to slow down to the speed of another". A patient person is willing to move at the speed of the one he is trying to help. An impatient people by nature becomes irritated with one who cannot keep up with him. But rather than giving into the irritation and the impatience, the patience person adjusts to the slower pace for the sake of relationship.

Jesus came to call people into relationship with Him and with one another. To make that possible He expressed His great love by having compassion, showing kindness, being humble, dealing gently and demonstrating extraordinary patience.

Aren't you thankful for how He loves you? Are you grateful that He calls you away from rule-keeping, religious ritual and life-less traditions?

If you are you must clothe yourself with those same virtues as you build relationships with others.