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And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. Galatians 3:27 (CEV)

Even though it happened over a half century ago, I remember it like yesterday. I proudly carried the box out of the local clothing store and excitedly climbed in the backseat of our car. Although it was a short drive home, it seemed like an eternity.

The car no sooner stopped and I was in the house and up to my room. Moments later I bounded down the stairs and outside to try out my new prize. Much to my amazement, the commercials were right! With my new ‘Keds®’ I really could jump higher and run faster. I felt like lightning running down that sidewalk!

Do you remember those new sets of clothes? Remember the first time you walked into school, or church or down the street? Remember the pride, the excitement, the feeling way down deep inside that this was going to be the turning point, that life was going to be better from here on out?

The Apostle Paul compares knowing Jesus to putting on a new outfit. This outfit doesn’t make us run faster or jump higher. It may make us look different to others. But that isn’t the real beauty to putting on Christ.

Physical clothing covers our body, but putting on Christ envelops our soul. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they made fig leaves to cover their shame, guilt, embarrassment and fear. The fig leaves were superficial coverings that offered little protection. Their Father made clothing for them that was better. It covered their bodies well, but their souls remained exposed to the elements.

Then Jesus came. Jesus Christ died to offer the same protection of the outer clothing, but the big difference is that Jesus died to protect your heart. When you ask him to forgive you, he will. When you ask him to take away your guilt, he does. When you ask him for peace and comfort when you are scared or hurt, he will.

Like Adam and Eve, people have tried many things to try to cover the pain, the hurt, the anger, the guilt of their past and present. Some try drugs; others try a new relationship, a new church, a different religion or new surroundings. Some have tried to escape the pain by not following any religion, which is really a religion in itself. But there is nothing that will cover the wound in your heart like Jesus.

When you get ready to start the day you dress yourself according to the weather and your daily activities. Don’t forget to dress the most important part of you. Put on Jesus so that your heart will be protected. You’ll notice the difference and so will others.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus thank you for the clothing you provide for my heart. I’ve done many things that have kept me from feeling good about myself and others. Forgive me for my sins. Clothe me with the forgiveness, hope and confidence I can only get through you. May others see the difference in me because my heart is protected by you. Amen.

 

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