August 7, 2013
Do you spend much time thinking about what you will wear each day? I don’t, but my wife, Julie does. One of the ways she loves me is taking concern in the clothing I wear. Perhaps all of us might benefit if we spent a little more time making sure we put on the right clothes each day, and then helping each other also. I would like to suggest that we start wearing the same uniform. Yes, that we all put on the same clothing, not just when we come to worship, but for every waking hour of our lives inside and outside of our church gatherings. The Scriptures tell us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. This is a 5-piece suit that God’s Word tells us to put on! We must if we are to honor the Lord by loving one another well, our greatest testimony to the world that we are disciples of Jesus! “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV)
Our year plus of transition between senior pastors is a great time for us to grow together as we focus on following Jesus. However, there’s going to be a lot of change and we’re all going to have opinions about it. Some of us will have very strong opinions. I did quite a few years ago and started expressing those in my blogs when I began in 2007. I still have these strong desires, but I learned something important back then that I share with you now. Strong and godly desires are very appropriate for the people of God. But there is a danger about feeling strongly and that is that we forget the main thing. We forget to put on the right clothes, beautiful clothes, fashioned by God himself, modeled by Christ, given us through the Holy Spirit.
When people feel strongly, filled with good, God-given desires, yet move and speak without a commitment to these five principles above, other people get hurt. We make the 1 Corinthians 13 error. We can possess the faith to move mountains, it says, yet without love it profits us nothing! May I suggest you join me in memorizing a passage of scripture together? I have chosen to make this my guiding principle as I follow the Lord and seek to lead our church family in worship each week. May I present to you the new Trinity Church uniform:
Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against each other. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Thanks Lord for using Bill to bring your Word to life. I needed this reminder !
You are always well-dressed, Bill! With God’s beautiful clothing. Thanks for this encouraging word.