Fashioned In Christ

Fashioned In Christ

Sister Miki Terayama - 6 February 2022

Weekend Devotion: Fashioned In Christ

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Brothers and sisters, let’s talk about clothing today. Not the type of physical clothing, but our spiritual clothing. If we were brought to our spiritual wardrobe, what would be in there? It may be true that by knowledge we know about God, we may believe in Him and the goodness He gives, but the disparity comes when it flows into the day to day living. We still have the realities of our roles, our environment, the people we face. And with all these factors and variables, we may often be putting on clothings of frustration, discontentment, anger, worry, fear or bitterness on our spirit instead. At the end of the day, when we face the “mirror” and reflect on our hearts and minds, we either get disheartened, accused or over time, just numb.

But here in Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Now this verses were written by Paul, while he was in prison, to the church in Colossae to address and combat the syncretism teachings that was infiltrating the church and to show them they have everything they need in Christ. He emphasised on the importance of connecting up to the right source in faith in order to do that, and that is with Christ. Similarly, we cannot just try to put on joy and peace and stuff like that by our own power and will, because our limitations cannot sustain or withstand the many kinds of changes and influences around us. We may be feeling good for awhile or motivated for that period of time, but when we store up our happiness, achievements, hopes or satisfaction based on anything apart from God, these are things “where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19). Like a thin, low quality clothing that may look really good on the outside when you put it on, but shrinks up after one wash, tears easily and just does not last long.

New clothes gifted by God

We have to realise that God has already given us new clothings to put on, like a robe with high quality fabric, functional and seamless design.You know, there were many occasions that I bought new clothes and hang them up in my cupboard. But over time, if I do not quickly put them on, and instead wear clothes I am used to wearing, I will gradually forget that I even have that new piece of clothing. Recently, when I was spring cleaning, then did I realise, “Hey, isn’t this the top I bought awhile back and never wore?” So I hope that when it comes to our spiritual clothing, we do not leave what God has gifted us unworn for too long and overtime, forget about it or rather get used to wearing the self-willed or worldly-driven ones. So what are these new clothings that the Lord has given to us? Before we talk about putting on the wonderful clothings of “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” as mentioned in the verses of Colossians earlier, we have to first know that for those of us who have believed in Christ, He has imputed His righteousness to us. This is the first proper robe God has given us. In Isaiah 61:10 it says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” Even while we are sinners, and we cannot, but Christ has assigned this important “robe” unto His children. So that we are no longer bounded by our old ways of living or thinking, but we have a guide, a spirit within us to discern, to nudge, to direct and empower us to live out His likeness in our limitations. This is the inner wear that must be put on before all other goodness to be displayed. If not, when we are doing good, we will easily fall onto human’s self ability, pride, and on the flip side, if we fall, we will get into self pity and blame. So first, know that we are able to put on Christ, for those of us who come before Him. But why can’t we still be more and more like Him? The thing is, God may have given us the garment of righteousness through Christ, we possess this, but we do not use it practically. Like a soccer player who is wearing his good team’s jersey, but whether he is going to enter the field to play up to the reputation of the team is another thing. So let us not just be a bench player.

Fashioned in Jesus’ label

But how do we do that? How do we, after knowing God has imputed Christ’s righteousness onto us, put on the other goodness as children of God? Colossians 3:9-10 tells us,”Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” There are two key areas here, “taking off our old self” and “renewed in knowledge in the image of the Creator”. Now the first thing we need to do is to acknowledge the need to put off old ways that draw us away from a God-centered and God-reliant life. So what are some “old clothes” you should rid from your wardrobe? Is it that phone addiction? Is it the pride in some areas? Is it some hurts that are not dealt with? It is not just about knowing but our conduct should eventually match our faith. To be a child of God is more than just making good resolutions or having good intentions, it means that our faith should bring us to the right actions. So we have to commit ourselves to what Christ directs us to. And how do we put off these old garments and put on the new self in Christ? By being constantly renewed in our knowledge of the God. We are all in a continuing education program. The more we know of Christ and His works, the more we are being changed to be like Him. Because Satan’s influences are ceaseless in this life, our pursuit for Christ should also be. We must never stop learning, obeying, stumbling, learning again and so on. Even though it seems like a tough journey to go through, while wearing these fine linens of God, but we will find incentives in discovering rich treasures within from growing in Him. We will become more and more in line with His will, wiser in our perspectives, wider vessel to love and more resilient to certain temptations that come at us.
Paul offers us a strategy to live as God’s chosen people as mentioned in Colossians 3:12-14. To imitate Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude, to let love guide us above all, to let the peace of Christ rule our hearts in wavering times, to be filled with thanksgiving, keep God’s word in us at all times and to live as dignified representatives of Christ.

Once you tried what is good, do not settle for second best.

You know, I used to love buying cheap clothings from this particular shop. But once I have tried on the good, breathable and durable fabric, I realised why there was a higher price tag on the piece, and I never go back to that cheap store anymore. So brothers and sisters, surely we are used to the garments we wear daily, but as we realise and take effort to clothe ourselves to be more and more Christ-ward by being renewed in knowing God deeper, we will experience the irreplaceable goodness it gives us. No doubt there are certain price to pay. Like some sacrifices of time and effort, fighting against our sinful natures or resisting persistent temptations, but once you have tasted the sweetness of following through God’s ways and reaping internal treasures of joy, peace and contentment, then you will not so easily want to go back to any second best. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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