Encouragement for Today
“All Dressed Up” Part 1
Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Speaker Team Member
Colossians 3:12-14, “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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (NIV)
Have you ever stood in your closest and declared, “I have nothing to wear!” I have. Even though I have a closet full of old clothes I could wear, I constantly want to trade them in for something brand new!
Most women are good about getting rid of old clothes and replacing them with something new, so why not do the same in our Christian lives? Paul tells us in Colossians to put off our “grave clothes” of sin and the old life, and put on the “grace clothes” of holiness and new life in Christ.
What are “grace clothes?” They are what God gives us undeserving souls. To appreciate our new clothes, let’s reflect on what God’s grace has done for us.
God’s grace has chosen us. The word “elect” means chosen of God. According to my parents, I was an accident. I’ve since learned that’s not possible. It’s God who opens the womb and creates life according to His purposes. My parents and I had no choice about my conception. It’s was all God’s doing. Likewise, the miracle of divine election does not depend on anything we can do either. We are chosen in Christ before He laid the foundation of the earth.
God’s grace sets us apart. We are not only chosen by God to be His, we are chosen to be holy. Once we become Christ’s, we are separated from the world and set apart for holiness. We are no longer our own. We are completely His. When I said my wedding vows to my husband, I was declaring that I would separate myself from all others and be completely his. After the ceremony, if I turned and left with the best man it would have been a terrible thing. It’s just as terrible to consider living “in the world” over living in Christ.
God loves you and me by grace. When a sinner sins, she is breaking the laws of the Creator and Judge. When a child of God sins, she is breaking the heart of her loving Father. I love my family and would do nothing intentionally to hurt them. Why don’t we have that same heart for God? As you and I grow in our love for our heavenly Father, we will grow in our desire to obey Him and live clothed in holiness.
God’s grace forgives. God’s forgiveness is complete and final. It is not partial or conditional. God’s forgiveness is for all, but it’s not automatic. We must be willing to throw off our life of sin, turn from it, and put on the new garment of grace. How does this happen? Through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, God forgives us for Christ’s sake. We can’t earn it, nor do we deserve it. It’s a free gift called grace!
Because of God’s gracious blessings, we have a part to play in the Christian life. We must take off the old in order to receive the new. Tomorrow, I invite you to take off your “grave clothes” and put on your “grace clothes.”
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, you overwhelm me with your grace. Thank you for all your provision. Help me to receive all you’ve offered. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Go over the grace points in today’s devotion and examine your life. Determine the areas in which you need grace. Make a list of the ways that you can show grace to others.
Do you often feel unworthy of God’s grace? We all are - praise God it’s ours anyway!
How does God show His love for you?
How do you show your love for Him?
From the verses below, how are we to wear God’s grace?
Ephesians 4: 22-32, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV)
Good to Me by LaTonya Mason