Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 19, 2016
The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Revelation 3:5
I am always awed by professional athletes and artists who engage their God-given abilities, their environmental surroundings and a focused discipline of ongoing training and practice to perfect their performance. The most conscientious would never consider coasting—but would endeavor to refine and expand their craft. Upward and onward drives their desire to be the best they can be. In similar fashion—as a child of God—we have the opportunity, under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit, to become more and more like Christ in our character development.
In striking imagery the “one who loved Jesus—John” describes the victory garments of those who transition from this sin soiled life on earth into the sin sanctified life in heaven. Now adorned with perfected character those dressed in white reflect the glory of God—it’s near blinding, like the sun’s glittering effect on pure driven snow. No more the filthy rags of imperfection, but the cleansed clothes of perfection. Jesus gives us the festal fabric of His grace for us to work out the salvation He gives us by faith. Our character is a work in process on its way to being perfected!
“And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:11-13).
Perhaps there is a character flaw that runs in your family, but the Lord Jesus is calling you to a higher standard of conduct. You quickly see this sin in others, because its familiarity in your life elevates it to the surface of your heart and mind. How unhealthy when imperfection calls out imperfection, without an inner call to first repent. The victorious in heaven, were always learning how to have victory in Jesus on earth. The Holy Spirit inspires and instructs the heart’s attire to be attractive, jealously reflective of God’s design. Take off sin—put on Christ’s righteousness.
Like a robust community bustles with new construction and detours leading to roadway expansion, so our imperfect character moves forward toward perfection—dirty, messy, smelly progress, but always under construction. One day we will be perfectly like Jesus—as we are conformed into celestial beings of infinite perfection. Victory depends on Him who makes us more than conquerors. And as lovers of God, we still make it our goal to live without spot, stain or blemish!
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my imperfect character toward the perfect character of Christ.
Application: What character trait do you admire in someone else? Can they mentor you to nurture that in your life?
Related Readings: Ezra 1:5; Zechariah 3:4; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Hebrews 13:21; 2 Peter 3:14
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© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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