Each year when we dig through all the boxes of Christmas decorations, we always have fun looking at all the ornaments we’ve had through the years, recalling fond memories of lots of them given as gifts. There are of course, those very special ones handmade from our kids, grandkids, family or friends or the places from some of our travels. There’s so much fun and laughter recalling these happy memories, just as the photo above shows! That’s Mike and I with our oldest grandson 12 years ago. Oh, doesn’t time seem to fly by so quickly?!
All this has me thinking about something that was on my mind recently as I was trying to fall asleep one night. What came to me was that the best Christmas ornament we could really ever have is to ‘put on’ the Lord Jesus. What are we wearing before the world? What do they see in us? Is there anything in us that would draw the unsaved to us? Is there anything in us that would attract them to ‘Christ the Lord’ as the Christmas song says during this holy and awesome season?
The Word of God tells us in so many places what we ought to ‘put on.’
This time of year, one of the things we obviously do is to put on some of our best clothes when we go out to a Christmas dinner, or a company party, etc. We all know the things in our closets that make us look good, better or best! But you can be ‘dressed to the max’ and still not look good especially if you have a sour attitude, are selfish, self-centered, always thinking of yourself first. More than ever before, it seems our society of today has become much more of a ‘me, me, me’ culture. Just check out Facebook and you’ll see it frequently. It can become quite wearisome. Where is the sense of ‘What can I do for you’?
So I believe that during this CHRISTmas season, it would be quite wonderful if we were to think about being ‘dressed for success’ in our walk with the One who is the reason for the season in the first place. Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Talk about celebratory garments! Salvation and true, godly righteousness is the reason for the season as Christ came to earth on divine assignment to show sinners the way of release from all their ugly, painful, sinful ways. Further in Isaiah, chapter 63, there are some powerful verses declaring these marvelous things: “And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, and I stained all My raiment… So He became their Savior… and the angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His mercy He redeemed them.” Being released from an eternal prison of separation from God is indeed something to celebrate!
The celebratory garments are something quite beautiful and grand. Zechariah 3:4 is something we need to ponder and cherish as we celebrate this special season of Christ the Lord, our heavenly Redeemer. It declares: “Remove the filthy garments from him. [Zechariah] Again he said to him, ‘See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” There isn’t a king or queen on earth who can be dressed with those kind of festal robes! It can only come through the acceptance of the lifeblood of Jesus as your Savior.
Clothes from Highest Designer
One of our daughter’s was a model for awhile when she was a teenager. She even had an offer to attend a great modeling school in New York. She didn’t choose that route as the Lord had other plans for her. But it is noteworthy that for each one of us, if we would be willing to accept it, our Creator and Divine Designer has offered us His most exquisite clothing of righteousness through Jesus Christ. Scriptures give these declarations in regard to our divine clothing:
Put on righteousness (Job 29:14)
Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus (Rom. 13:14)
Clothe yourself with splendor (Ps. 45:3; 104:1)
Clothe yourself with strength & dignity (Isa. 52:1; Prv. 31:25)
Clothe yourselves with compassion (Col. 3:12)
Clothe yourselves with humility (1 Pet. 5:5)
Clothed in fine linen and purple (Prv. 31:22)
If none of these apply to you, then take comfort in the start of a New Year by giving your heart to the Lord either in renewal or for the first time in your life! Joel 2:12 and 13 will be a great comfort to you stating this encouragement: “Yet even now,” declares the Lord, “Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments.” Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”
Dressed for Success
As stated before, there isn’t a movie star, or a king or queen of earth who can be as dressed for success as is a child of God. This time of year as many are putting on their best outfits to impress, why not remember how fortunate we are to be dressed for success by the power of God? It is His power within us that enables us to overcome anything the world tries to throw at us to defeat, discourage, or depress us. This time of year can be laden with heaviness for many reasons. But taking God’s Word at its face value can enlighten any dark day in your life! I know this from first-hand experience having been in the battle of my life fighting cancer these past two years. But the Lord’s Divine Breath in the scriptures has a lifeline of encouragement. If you’re between a rock and a hard place, just start with Isaiah 61. It has all the ingredients for success in your struggles. You can feast for days just from verse 3, “To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
No need for fainting spells! Just tuck your heart into the heart of God Most High! He is the Almighty God from everlasting to everlasting. (Psalm 103) Remember that God always has a superlative because of Who He is, Creator, Savior, Lord of lords, King of kings and so much more. He is actually above and beyond human description as clearly seen in Revelation 4:8 as the holy angels can only declare day and night before His heavenly Throne, “Holy! Holy! Holy!” (Rev. 4:8) ‘Superlative’ is described in the dictionary as ‘the highest quality or degree, excellent, high praise, exaggerated language’ — which of course, He deserves! He outshines everything and everyone, always and forevermore.
If there was ever someone who could have been stressed and depressed, it would be Queen Esther from the Old Testament book named after her. Most know the story, but to state it here quickly… there had been a request initiated by the evil man known as Haman, to annihilate of all the Jews across the land. The king had given his power of agreement. But Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, who had raised her, put on sackcloth because there was great weeping and wailing amongst the Jews who were her kindred. Esther sent garments to clothe Mordecai that he might remove his sackcloth from him, but he did not accept them! (4:4) In this same chapter, verse 14 shows the words her uncle gave to her saying that perhaps she had attained this royal position ‘for a time such as this.’ As shown in subsequent chapters, the king extended his scepter to Esther granting her request to bring revenge on those who sought her peoples’ annihilation.
Later we see that her uncle was greatly rewarded for his intercession with a royal robe placed upon him! (Chapter 6)
Precious people of God, likewise, who knows that you and I haven’t been raised up for a time such as this to bring multitudes into the kingdom of God? It’s time we remove our own garments of weeping and put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that may be upon us, and reach for all the Lord has for us, and is yet to do for many souls around the world. (Isa. 61:3)
The Best Ornaments
This Christmas, let’s put on the best ornaments — all that is in God’s Word, because Proverbs 3:22 says that this will be life to your soul and adornment to your neck. Likewise Proverbs 25:12 describes this like an earring of gold and an ornament of find gold…” The Lord is the heavenly jeweler and He will crown you will success as you walk and talk with Him daily. These kinds of ornaments from the Lord will never go out of style, or get broken, or lost. They are forever ornaments of His Divine, holy, powerful Presence.
Let’s dress with His Word for success of our souls and those around us. Take note of Jacob in Genesis 37 and how he had given a varicolored cloak to his son, Joseph. Envy crept into the family because they were envious of this special favor. But that’s exactly what God the Father wants to do for you and I right now in this season, and beyond! He wants to give us special favor so that people will beat a path to our door wanting what we have in Him and through Him. It’s the peace and joy that goes beyond understanding and takes us through any pain, heartache, trials, or testings this world throws at us. It is only in His Presence that we become a reflection of His glory.
One of the most popular musicals this time of year is the Handel’s Messiah. A highlight is when the ‘Hallelujah’ part of the program takes place. It is always so powerful! This takes us to the last book of the Bible, which is yet to be lived out by a forthcoming generation. Revelation 19 speaks of the Fourfold Hallelujahs. Verse 1: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.” Verse 2 speaks of the judgments against harlotry, corruption and immorality and the great multitude of heaven says, “Hallelujah!” Verse 4 tells us of the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures who fell down and worshipped God who sits on the throne saying, “Hallelujah!” He is worthy of all praise and honor! Verses 5-6 speaks of all the multitude of heaven like the sound of many waters… like the sound of mighty peals of thunder saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns.” Verse 8 declares: “It was given to her” [the bride/the believers in Christ the Lord] “to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (My emphasis) Then the eternal banquet of heaven begins! Hallelujah!
Only through Jesus are we able to reach these heavenly heights. In this same chapter of Revelation 19, Verses 13, 14, and 16, resound with these words: “He [Jesus] is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, [my emphasis] were following Him on white horses… and on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Let’s add our own ‘Hallelujah! Amen!’