[popup url=”http://blb.org/devotionals/me/view.cfm?Date=06/04&body”]» Today’s reading at Blue Letter Bible[/popup]
Morning: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared” – Titus 3:4
I’ve always been a collector. When I was a youth, I would buy old 1940’s and 1950’s paperback books from certain publishers, and research their publishing history, their relation to each other, and stuff like that, and organize them on shelves in my bedroom. OK, I was a weird kid. And yes, I know that “from a tiny acorn, grows a mighty oak.”
Now that the Lord has drawn me to Him, I collect other things. My favorite is to collect Scriptures. You can collect Scriptures on God’s promises, or places in the Bible concerning “three days”, or the Banner of the Lord Jehovah Nissi, or really, all manner of things, as God’s word is as deep as His love for us.
One of my favorite Scripture collections concerns today’s morning devotion. It is a collection of places in the Bible where the Holy Spirit tells us “But God”. A few examples:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – [Romans 5:8 NKJV]
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), – [Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV]
There’s a lot of love and kindness and grace crammed into those two words “But God”, and that is the exhortation in Spurgeon’s devotion. What a distinction between our miserable, fallen state, and God’s loving response to us! One of my favorite examples of this is in Hosea. In Chapter 2:13, God speaks about Israel forgetting the Lord
She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot,” says the LORD.
And what is God’s response in the next verse? It is something amazing!
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, And speak comfort to her. – [Hosea 2:14 NKJV]
In the midst of our idolatry, our darkest sin, our selfishness, and our pride, the Lord gently and firmly woos us to Him, and makes us His own!
Evening:“Received up into glory.” – 1 Timothy 3:16
Spurgeon exhorts us this evening to contemplate the Lord’s glory, but also to contemplate how the Lord was arrayed:
– He wore the sackcloth of sorrow as His daily dress
– shame was His mantle
– reproach was His vesture
– He will be robed in the splendor of victory
– He wears the glory which He had with Father God from everlasting
Reader, if you would joy in Christ’s glory hereafter, He must be glorious in your sight now. Is He so?
This reminds me of the fashion statements in our lives. In Spurgeon’s time, a well-dressed man might wear an Albert Chain on his watch, because Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, started that fashion. Albert also wore a new style of frock coat on his visit to the USA in 1876, and so – you guessed it – Prince Albert Frock Coats came into vogue. Two Hundred years earlier, we men would have been wearing Cromwell shoes and Knickerbocker leggings. And in our time, we have only accelerated the pace of modeling our fashion statements after the latest athletes, actors, or rock stars.
One of the ways in which we can follow Spurgeon’s exhortation to glorify Christ is in our raiment – how we clothe ourselves. We have a choice before us: do we model our clothing and fashion after the most popular stars of today, or do we adorn ourselves with Christ as our model? What does Scripture say?
Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. – [1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV]
Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, – [Proverbs 3:3 NKJV]
In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. – [Colossians 3:10,12,14 NLT]
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. – [Galatians 3:27 NIV]
Let us clothe ourselves with Christ today, looking forward to the day we will wear His robe of righteousness!