Monday morning, and I’m up early, as usual. As is my custom, I go in to work an hour earlier on Mondays, mostly because the night crew doesn’t work on Sunday night. They sort and load on Friday night.
It also means I don’t have as long for my morning routine, so I’ll jump right in.
1 Corinthians 15:53
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
Max Lucado asks, “Does Jesus care what clothes we wear?” He then cites further Scripture verses. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:14) for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)
Of course, the “clothing” being spoken of has nothing to do with dresses, jeans, and suits. “God’s concern is with our spiritual garment.” Isaiah 61:10 says, I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
As believers, we are clothed with Christ; the perishable has put on immortality. With this “robe of righteousness,” we should not want to indulge our sinful desires.
(From Grace for the Moment, by Max Lucado)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
This is the first of the “I AM” sayings of Jesus, recorded in John’s gospel. There is great significance to the structure of the verb, “I AM,” as used by Jesus. It is ego eimi This construction appears each time Jesus says, “I AM,” and is the “same construction found in the Greek version of Exodus 3:14, where God declares of Himself, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’” “No first-century Jew would have missed such a clear self-reference from Jesus to His own deity.”
Jesus refers to himself as the “bread of life.” The Father gave Jesus to “grant and sustain life,” just as he gave manna to the Israelites in Exodus. Jesus is better than the Old Testament manna, though, because manna only satisfied physical hunger, and it was only temporary. We who partake of Christ will never be hungry again. Also, this “bread of life” gives eternal life. This was the reason Jesus came; to grant and sustain eternal life.
(From Tabletalk Magazine)
Today’s Bible readings:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (vv. 23-24)
“And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” (v. 5)
Verse 5 could be interpreted to say that we are not to force our message on anyone. I’ve been with Christians who would badger an unbeliever until he finally agreed to say “the sinner’s prayer” (don’t even get me started on that one…) just to get the guy to leave him alone. That person was no more “saved” than the chair I’m sitting in! He wasn’t interested.
Jesus’s condition of discipleship is this…”the daily choice to do God’s will instead of one’s own.”
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, (v. 8)
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. (v.15)
I believe that the phrase “when I awake” refers to awaking from the final “sleep,” that is, death. I will behold the face of God in “righteousness,” or, in heaven.
(From Discovering the Bible, by Gordon L. Addington)
PRAY FOR THESE NATIONAL LEADERS IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK:
William M. Dale, White House Chief of Staff.
Darrell Issa, United States House of Representatives, California.
Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
General George W. Casey, Jr., United States Army Chief of Staff.
Father, I pray that my “clothing” would always be Jesus Christ. I pray that I would daily “put on” Christ, that I might be seen as a compassionate, humble person. I continue to pray for the kind of spirit that David had, forgiving, yet repentant. Give me grace to not indulge any sinful desires today, Lord.
I thank you for the Bread of Life, Father! Thank you for sending Jesus to grant and sustain eternal life to us. I praise you for clothing me in salvation.
I still need you to teach me to deny myself and take up my cross. I know that “my cross” is not anything that I have no control over. My cross is something that I must take up willingly; something that would require me practice denial of my own desires in some way. Help me to lose my life in you, dear Jesus! And, as the Psalmist said, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
What kind of clothes are you wearing today? Put on Christ. Put on compassion and humility. Put on love.
Grace and peace, friends.