Encouragement 07-14-04


July 14, 2004
Encouragement for Today

Wearing His Clothes
Leigh Gray, Member of P31 Speaker Team

Key Verse:

"Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself."  1 Samuel 18:3


Do you remember those elementary school days when your best friend would offer to trade shoes, shirt, or even jacket?  This exchange was a sign to everyone else that the two of you were serious about your friendship and nothing could break the bond between you, for at least that day! 
The same is true of high school days when the boyfriend allowed his beloved to wear the most prized, honorable, and never fitting letterman jacket.  This girl would strut through the halls of the school displaying proudly his accomplishments on her back.  It was definitely a sign to all that she was "taken" and that they were a couple not to be reckoned with, for at least that day! 
We see this same kind of exchange of clothes going on in I Samuel 18:1- 4.  Jonathan and David declared that their friendship was unbreakable.  In verse three the Bible says that Jonathan made a covenant with David.  Just how deep and strong was this covenant?  In verse four we see Jonathan, the king's son, taking off his royal clothes and giving it to the poor, but soon to be king, shepherd boy, David.  Wow, what a picture of sacrifice.  Jonathan who had everything gave it all up for David because of his love and devotion to his friend. 
This relationship between David and Jonathan reminds me so much of what Christ has done for all of mankind.  He took off His robe of righteousness and put on our nasty, dirty, filthy, rotten, disgusting robe of sin.  He took it all to the cross with Him where He died for our transgressions.  But that is not the end of the covenant promise.  On the cross, He was able to take off that robe of filth and destroy its power.  In God's eyes, this robe of sin will never be remembered nor be held against those who wore it.
The robe of righteousness that Christ gives freely to all who ask is beyond imagination - a gift like none other.  There is so much freedom in this garment!  We can walk through life, without ever feeling a heavy burden from its weight.  We can run, trusting that the precious robe of righteousness will never fall off or be lost.  His righteousness is forever and the only way that we can enter into His presence!   
Dear friends, please do not pick up that old robe and try to live in it.  The two robes do not match and cannot be worn at the same time.  Your old robe may be full of pride, jealousy, lies, gossip, and even self-reliance.  Throw it down and leave it with Him.  Take your new robe of righteousness and walk through life with a new attitude of thanksgiving and humility.  Christ and you are a couple the defeated one cannot reckon with - not just for a day but for all eternity!  

My prayer for today:

Jesus, there are so many things in my life that I put on everyday that you have long discarded from my life.  Help me Lord to walk in your forgiveness, no longer enslaved to past sins.  Lord, help me to live in your victory and freedom.  Thank you for your forgiveness and healing!  I love you, I really do! 

Application Steps:

Begin today by confessing the things that you continually hold on to.  Ask Him for the guidance in wearing your new robe.  Walk with your head and heart high knowing that you are His and free from all the junk in your past. 

Reflection points:

How will you choose to live this day?
What is that you won't let go of or take off?
Is there someone that reminds of your past that you may need to distance yourself from?
Do you know that you have put on His robe of righteousness?
Can you feel the freedom in His grace?

Power Verses:

Ephesians 4:24 "and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
Romans 13:14 "Rather, clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."
2 Corinthians 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
1 Samuel 18:4 "Jonathan took off his robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow, and his belt." 

Additional Resources

Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst

Originally published Wednesday, 14 July 2004.