“I do know this: I am here – a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend – only by His Grace and His Mercy.” – excerpt from Scott’s Story
Today’s promise is at the very root of our hope. There’s a great story in the Bible that goes along with it. It’s a vision about Joshua, the same guy that led the Israelites out of Egypt, across the Jordan River, and marched around the walls of Jericho. He served as the High Priest of the nation of Israel, and represented their spiritual or religious interests. This story is about how he chose to wear filthy clothes because the nation of Israel had so many sins, and as their representative, he felt that they were “unclean” in the site of God. The priests at that time were commanded to keep themselves clean, so by wearing filthy clothes, he was an offense to God’s law. So, seeing this, how does God respond? With grace. With forgiveness. Because He loves His people, it’s by His grace, and not how well they behaved, that He said, “Take off his filthy clothes.” That’s forgiveness. God didn’t see Israel the way that Joshua did, with all of their mistakes and bad choices. God saw what He created them to be. That’s Grace., “See? I have taken away your sin…” What’s cool about that story is that God takes it a step farther and says, “and I will put rich garments on you.” Does that mean Joshua got to go on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive? No. It means that God then considered them clothed in His own righteousness, His own goodness, and chose to see them as He created them to be. It’s a very cool story that depicts the grace and forgiveness of a loving and just Father.
What does it all have to do with us? Well, do you remember the Bible story of the prodigal son? The kid took his inheritance, ran away, partied hard, made a series of bad choices, and squandered every penny. He ended up stealing rotten food from a pig’s slop bucket. At that point he remembered where he had come from, and decided he would be better off as a servant at his father’s house than wrestling with pigs. Was his father happy with him? Would yours be? He did make his way home. His father ran out to meet him, and then what did he do? Check it out.…he took off his filthy clothes and gave him the best robe in the house, a ring, and a new pair of shoes! Grace.
The same Savior that died for our sins rose from the dead, and now serves as the High Priest that represents us before the throne of God, just like Joshua did for the Israelites. Us. He represents us. With all of our mistakes and bad choices. The same Saviour that rescued me from the mess I made of my life. The same Saviour that rescued Scott, John, Jami, Tayrn, Laurie, Paul …each of us. That means if we look to Him, confess what we’ve done, what we can’t stop doing, give Him the mess we’ve made, that in His faithfulness to His promise, He forgives us. All of us. Just as Israel couldn’t get to “good behaviour” on their own, neither can we. Jesus wore our sins, the “filthy rags” of our lives, to the Cross. God doesn’t condemn us for something that Jesus already died for. Instead, He promises that through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, that we are finally free of the things that we get tangled up in and clothed in a new garment of His making….His righteousness and His plan for our lives. Sure, we can go out and buy ourselves something new to wear. The next morning we’ll find those new clothes will be dirty, and the situation won’t be any better. Don’t try to do this by yourself. Use the prayer on today’s journal page to ask God to help you.
I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10
Sometimes looking backwards at the path we’ve traveled can help us see that we are indeed being made new. Here are some questions that we can ask ourselves to help us better appreciate God’s hand on our lives.
- Where was I when I realized that I needed a Saviour?
- What have I been forgiven for?
- What do my own filthy rags look like?
Within the answers to these questions is the story that will bring someone else hope today. If you’d like to encourage someone that’s struggling with the same thing you did, you can share your story HERE.
You can DOWNLOAD and PRINT today’s journal page HERE.
What is it you’re facing? Nobody goes into battle alone. We can stand with you. Let us know in the comments below how we can pray for you, or by submitting your story.
He will fight for you.