What Are You Wearing?

SantaDachshund (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As we think of Christmas right now, I see people scrambling at the malls and department stores, waiting in lines to get in first – WHY?

Oh, I understand that they are trying to save money on the early Christmas sales, or they want to get that thing before the stores run out. But is that what Christmas is all about, wearing all the latest fashions, having all the coolest gadgets, getting that thing before your friend gets it?

Everybody has to have all the latest fashions that they see the stars wearing in the magazines at the checkout of the grocery stores…

Lets stop for a second to take a look at that person;  most would be lower middle class that are scraping to get by because they have stretched their budget too tight so that they can barely buy groceries, or maybe they are lower class that have ratty clothes (the in style thing to do) and paying for their food with food stamps or government aid money.

Google Glasses Even Look Creepy on Fashion ModelsPhoto credit goes to www.theatlanticwire.com

Google Glasses Even Look Creepy on Fashion Models
Photo credit goes to http://www.theatlanticwire.com

Yet, if you look closer, you will see that the middle class person standing in line with their cell phone out and it just happens to be the latest *phone that they spent $400 on when it first came out (ok, some a little less – this is an example), and then the “shabby-schiek clothing” person is getting government aid and they can’t afford to buy food from their income but yet they can afford to buy a $50 carton of cigarettes that they will probably burn through in a week or so.

You see these people always trying to riffle through the racks of clothing to see if they can find their size in that cool looking outfit.  Or, they are in the sporting goods store/department looking for the latest style of athletic shoes.

Then you have the upper middle (and above) class that don’t worry about the money or what they are wearing because they have achieved greatness (or their daddy did), and they can wear anything they want and buy anything that they want short of a new car (for some).  They worry about what their buddies (homies?) are wearing and if they would be accepted in their group if they wore a particular brand of falling-down jeans or, for the girls, the latest brand and style of painted on clothes (if you call them that).

Why is it so important for a person to wear a particular brand or style? Why can’t people get by with a pair of jeans from your local discount department store that costs $15 or even something that they might find in a second-hand store for a few bucks?  You can find some really great things there – that’s where the rich dump their clothes after they are through with them, after all.

I’m sure that I don’t have to remind you – because we always know it all and know best, right – that God’s Word, The Holy Bible, tells us in Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

Where this verse doesn’t condemn having nice, good-quality things, it does remind us that we, as Christians, are clothed with the garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness.  Now, I know, this is not literal clothing that we can wear out in public or anything.  We might be embarrassed or get arrested if we would try.  No, this is telling us that if we put our trust in God and not the physical things, we are covered with Godly clothes.  We will be wearing these clothes when we finally get to see Jesus in Heaven.

My concern here is not about the clothes that we wear every day – although some of them leave a lot to be desired – we forget where our heart needs to be every day.  It is not supposed to be on earthly possessions but rather Heavenly things (Matthew 6: 33;  Matthew 6: 19 – 21).  Remember the saying, “You can’t take it with you when you die”?  It is true.

Jesus tells us in the above verses that since we can’t take anything on this earth with us to the “afterlife”, we are supposed to store our things up in Heaven.  Things on this earth can/will be destroyed and will eventually go away, but if we lay up our treasures in Heaven, those things will be waiting for us when we get there.  And, if we store our treasures in Heaven our “mind”, or the things that we put the most emphasis on and effort into, here on earth, is where our “heart” will be.  What does that mean?  If we work for things on earth, our “heart” is paying attention to ourselves.  If we work for things in Heaven, our “heart” is paying attention to God.  The main focus of our existence on this earth is not to be on us but rather on God and for spreading His Gospel.  Those things are the ones that will be stored for us in Heaven.

“How do we store up things in Heaven?”, you ask.  “We can’t even see there right now, nor can we get there to deliver anything to store it?”

1 Corinthians 3: 11 – 15
 11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
 12 “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
 13 “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
 14 “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
 15 “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

When we make decisions here on earth, we can make them to please our own desires or we can choose to please God.  When we choose to please ourselves, those things are the things that will be burned up. If we make the choice to trust Jesus for salvation, and yet we never do anything for Him afterward, that is what is talked about in v. 15 where all of a person’s “works” will be burnt up and he will be left with nothing, no “reward“, but yet he will still be there in Heaven, “saved; yet so as by fire”.

You know one thing that really wakes me up when I think about this is v.13 where it says that “every man’s work shall be made  MANIFEST”.  WOW!!  Right here I picture a huge jumbotron T.V. in Heaven.  Jesus will call each one of us up to a stage where everyone could see everything I did during my life after my salvation.  I think that I would feel about a centimeter tall about then when everything is shown that I did wrong. But, for all of those things that I did right and for Jesus and in His name, I would get some kind of reward for that.  Thankfully God is a forgiving God and when we ask forgiveness for our sins after our salvation, He “forgets” about those sins and just remembers those things which I’ve done for Him.

John 14: 2 – 3
2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” 

What I see here is that everything that I truly do for Jesus’ sake and not my own, will be shown in the mansion that He is preparing for me.  I’m sure that there will be huge mansions in Heaven and there will be “shacks” for mansions all due to the “works” that a person does in Jesus’ name and for His sake and not our own.

You notice that I say “not my own” or “not our own” here.  I say that because it is difficult to determine at times that the things that we do that look like they should matter for Christ can sometimes be done selfishly.  Our motives MUST be pure.

Sometimes we do things because we have to or we made a commitment to do it so “I am fulfilling that commitment, not because my heart is really in it”; or maybe because someone told you to do it.  Or maybe, you do something just because you are trying to lay up things for yourself in Heaven.  I know that that verse tells us to, but there is a fine line here. Are we doing it for our future self or are we doing it for Jesus?  Those things done for Jesus are the ones that will NOT be burned in the refining fires.

Christian, I hope that this has been a graphic for you of what we need to be doing for Christ and for what purpose we are to be doing them.  I’d really like to see you in Heaven with a huge mansion.

© 2012 Mark Davis

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