“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision to indulge your evil desires.” (Romans 13:14)
We have a box in our basement that doesn’t get used much anymore. But many years ago, when our children were young, that box got used frequently. It was what we called our dress-up box.
The purpose of the dress-up box? You guessed it… to put yourself in an appropriate costume for some serious play time. Our children, and their friends, would come up with all kinds of things to wear – and then go out in the yard and BE that character. Whether it was pirates. Or Jedi knights. Or cowboys. Or super heroes. Or just something that looked awesome. The box was a source of hours of dress-up fun – as imaginations ran wild, and as the children became something new and exciting with each costume worn.
The spiritual parallel to the “dress-up box” is greater than we may realize. In fact, I would say that it is absolutely essential. It is at the very heart of what the apostle Paul is sharing in our verse for the day.
True Christianity begins with the understanding that we are to BE Jesus to our world. This does not happen because we gradually become so holy and perfect that we resemble Jesus. This happens because God has pointed us to the very real, divine “dress-up box” – and He has invited us to do something that only Christians can do. We are invited to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” What God is asking us to do is live our lives as if we were Jesus – do what Jesus does, say what Jesus says, act and react as Jesus did.
The problem is that so often, when we think about being like Jesus, we tend to look at His miraculous powers and immediately conclude that ONLY Jesus can do miracles… so let’s put Jesus back in the box. “There’s no way we can do that!”
But that is not what God is asking of us. The main thought behind being like Jesus is the thought of giving of yourself – of humbly serving… of loving like God loves.
That is why on Jesus’ last night with His disciples (before going through the ordeal of the cross) He gave them one last indelible picture of Christlikeness. It wasn’t lessons in raising the dead, or five ways to cast out demons, or how to cure leprosy… It was the Master, humbly bowing to wash each disciple’s feet. That was His point. That was what He wanted them to understand. That was the thing He told them “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. ” (John 13:15)
When we think about being like Jesus, we so often lose sight of what He was really all about. Servanthood. Giving. Loving.
These are the very things that anyone can be. They require no special gift or talent. And more importantly, these are the things that God has provided for us to be. This IS the new you. We ARE Servants. Givers. Those who excel at grace and love.
Just like Jesus… The One Who created us.
Prayer focus: God, grant me to understand the vital importance of “putting on the Lord Jesus” every day of my life.