Welcome, there is someone I would like for you to meet. They have the potential of being the most important person you will ever know.
Actually, you have already met this person. Although you have been around them a long time, you hardly know this person. Who are they? They are “YOU.”
At this point, we need to stop and find out who we are as Christian “in Christ Jesus.” Not who we are in a Glamour Magazine article or in Man’s Latest Fashion publication.
In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk with Him.”
The question is, how do we become this person “in Christ Jesus?”
To discover ourselves in Christ Jesus we need to find our description in His word. First of all, even before we look in his word you have to give up letting everyone else define you: your children, your grandchildren, advertisement, the media, your church, your denomination, your friends, even your husband or wife.
God’s word needs to become our mirror into this understanding. Yet, many of us look into our own dusty mirrors and ask, “Mirror, mirror on the wall…. Where did I go?”
Maybe you feel like I do at times. This is what I see when I look in my mirror… a use-to-be-er. I use to be schoolteacher, a weekly column writer, a mother of small children a daughter, a granddaughter, a snow skier, and a size 8. I use to be free for veracious veins, wrinkles, and the discomfort in my heels, knees and back. Count me in. I’m a use-to-be-er!
Maybe you too have looked in the mirror and at one time saw someone you recognized. We may not have been the fairest in the land, but we were God’s workmanship. Then we gave little pieces of our self away so now we don’t know what has become of the person “in Christ Jesus” whom God created us to be.
One word best describing this person in all our mirrors is “RESPONSIBLE”. You see, we may have lost ourselves and had to ask “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall where did I go?” because we are so ready to take
responsibility for everything and
On one hand, we think we will be safe if we just put everything in order, everything in place, and keep it that way. Our energy is spent trying to be rigid about everything. Rigid isn’t necessarily stable; it is just brittle and easily broken. This leaves us being quick, snappy and efficient about doing one thing after another. We end up with no time to dream or swing; no time for a moment with God or with ourselves.
Also, as Christian, we clothe ourselves in false quilt. If our children are not doing well…got to be our fault. If our husband or wife feels down…must be something we did. If our church is not a mega church…we failed. This attitude is not good, for we take on the quilt of everything around us, thus making ourselves the center of everything.
“In Christ” we can replace this self-conscienceness with Christ-conscienceness that will allow us to choose the clothing to fit our God-given personality and responsibility. Clothing that feels good on me and is pleasing to God. We don’t have to wear anyone’s hand me downs. Neither will we cut our divine conscience to fit this year’s fashions. We have divine clothing, as a believer in Christ Jesus, designed especially for mus.
What does God desire to clothe us in? There is a description of clothing store found in Matthew 5:7-12. The name of the clothing store is not Sassy Styles. It is called the Believer’s Beatitudes Boutique or (just for men) Believer’s Bargain Basement.
Let’s just walk into the clothing stores and look first of all at the inner garments in the Believer’s Beatitudes Boutique. Do I need to remind you our goal is to clothe ourselves so we can function as that believer we were created to be?
The first garment is labeled POOR IN SPIRIT. It is to be worn by believers who know they need God and are totally dependent upon Him. When we have this garment on, we never STRUT into God’s presence. Yet, we are courageous, for courage is fear that has said this one prayer, “I need you, Lord.” All other garments of a believer in Christ Jesus unfold on this first garment of dependency on God. The first word of our first prayer spoken the first moment of every day should be, “I need you, Lord.”
The second garment is ours is the garment worn by those who MOURN for they shall be comforted. I’m not suggesting this garment’s colors should be dark and gray befitting a pity-party. We are experts in planning and throwing this party with our clenched teeth, pathetic looks and sagging shoulders. We do this quite well. Only problem, nobody shows up at our pity-parties.
We should wear a mourning garment because of the way we have treated the Great Designer. This mourning should be because of our sins and wrong doings. Have you noticed how noble we feel when we forgive others their awful mistakes; yet, we become paralyzed with guilt and shame when we realize God has caught us in our worst moment? How hard it is to let us claim and own our mistakes and wear the garment of mourning.
It is so freeing once we have fleshed out this beatitude of mourning into a garment of need. These garments will make a statement to God, and not necessarily to the world. They will whisper to Him, “I need you, Lord. I need your forgiveness.”
The third garment I want to show you is vital because we make our lives so complicated. Yet, there is another way. It is blessed are the MEEK for they shall inherit the earth. I know you are thinking, “No, thank you.” I will pass on this one. I’m not letting people walk all over me.
Let me explain this by the use of a picture. Will you picture a broken wild stallion, yet it still has all of its power, all its speed and all its strength? These are now simply under control of a higher power. Here we can see a picture of a meek man or woman in Christ Jesus. They have permitted them selves to be under the control of a higher power by saying, “God, I surrender the exercise of my power to force circumstances into compliance with my wishes.” This is not a defeated attitude. It is a TAA-DUMM attitude.
If we clothe ourselves in these inner garments labeled NEED what will be the results? We will look good. But to what audience...to the world? Not necessarily so. We play our lives to the wrong audience, don’t we? We should play our lives to God so as to look good to Him.
I have scriptural basis for what I just shared. This garment is none other than the 4th beatitude. "Blessed are those (men and women in Christ Jesus) who hunger and thurst after righteousness (the right Godly fit) for they shall be filled. (Look good and be of use to God and His service.)"
Quickly, let’s move on to the outer garments our designer made for us. Do you understand why these outer garments don’t fit and don’t feel good on us? Let’s identify them. They are the garments of mercy, purity of heart and peacemaking. These outer garments don’t fit because we haven’t put on the inner garments. We spotlight the outer garment of MERCY.
There is a warning here. If there has been no need of mercy in our lives, then we can’t be merciful or have compassion and love for others. To be honest, we need to put on this garment and boldly walk out there where it is needed in our hurting world filled with people dressed in so many needs.
The next outer garment has the label PURE IN HEART attached to it. The fabric of this garment has all the impurities removed. It is unmixed and undivided. A pure heart is undivided and has the right perspective of things. Is your heart divided? As believers who have great responsibilities, we have a terrible time just living in the moment God has given us.
Is this garment costly? Yes, it will cost you your priceless possession of time spent in God’s word fleshing it out. This time, spent in praying with the focus on God and His Holy Spirit as your prayer partner will be rewarded.
I would have you look closely at the label on this last garment. Some manufactories choose labels closely resemble the real thing. Don’t get mixed up on this label. It should read PEACEMAKER and not Peacelover.
At times I want to wear this counterfeit garment of Peacelover because I don’t like conflict. I get this mindset I can control or manipulate people and situations when I have this peacelover garment on. People may even like me when I wear it.
But being a peacelover does not make me a peacemaker. A peacemaker goes beyond wanting an atmosphere void of conflict. Peacemakers may have to become a bridge. There is a secular song I love that says what I am trying to express. “Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down.”
That means I recognize, first of all, the waters ARE troubled. Then I become involved in a positive way to bring the two sides together. Actually that is what Christ did when he died on the cross. He became the bridge for us to establish a relationship with God.
The final picture we see in our mirror tonight is a picture of a believer, in Christ Jesus, who can rejoice and be glad for great is their reward.
Our reward is an awareness that our lives aren’t set in stone. We like trees, can continue to unfold if we are planted in Christ Jesus.
We are also women who are free to use every color in the box and even color out side the lines at times.
Can you see and feel yourself ripening and coloring as believers in Christ Jesus to the point the only excuse for your life is Jesus Christ?
That, my friend, is the reason for our celebration. This is the why I write to make one great announcement. Every true leader in the early Christian movement penned this statemnet in each New Testament book. Let the celebration begin and end with this banner, “I give you Jesus, the one who clothes us in the garments of the beatitudes.”
Wow...I like this piece very much! What woman doesn't want to look her best? My Bridegroom wants to dress me from His boutique! A fresh approach to a familiar passage that made me stop and take a long drink of His truth. The only thing I could wish for is a more concise title. "The Beatitudes Boutique" would do it for me! God continue to bless your gift.