Repentance; April 19, 2918

Zechariah 3:3-4 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”

This is actually a good picture of what happens to everyone who comes to Christ in repentance and faith. Our sins are taken away and we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. There’s a line in the hymn, The Solid Rock that says, “Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.” That’s very Biblical! So many people think they have to clean themselves up before they can come to God, when really all it takes is the decision that they want to be clean. That’s not an idle decision, however; it involves being willing to discard everything apart from Christ Himself. A sad number of people want to hang onto this, that, or the other of their old life, and so don’t enter fully into what God has prepared for them in Christ. Sometimes the devil tries to fool us in that area, though. Reiko Uehara was a nightclub singer when she came to Christ, and at first she discarded music itself in her desire to cling to Christ. However, she came to realize that God had gifted her in that area for His glory, and she became a Christian singer with a blessed ministry. That said, her motivation was spot on: nothing is more important than Christ, and He will supply all we need.

When I was raised in a strongly Christian home and was baptized at seven, I didn’t have time to create associations like Reiko did, but that didn’t mean I didn’t sin, by any means. Repentance is just as important for me as for someone involved in things everyone would condemn. The point for me is that I’ve got to let God choose my clothes, to go with the image in this passage. When I try to do things on my own, I get filthy! Seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) is a daily, continuous activity. My “outfit for the day” is always to be Christ Himself. (Galatians 3:27) Anything else is far less than the best. I’ve always enjoyed dressing well, thinking about colors and being appropriate for the occasion, though I have never been a slave to fashion. Physical clothing is of very minor importance, but being dressed in Christ is essential.

Father, thank You for all You have provided for Your children in Christ. Help me receive it all in repentance and faith, leading others to do the same, so that all the devil’s schemes may be defeated and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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