Exchanging 'Grave' Clothes for 'Grace' Clothes
Do you like new things? There is something about a ‘new year’ that is inspiring. It’s a fresh start, a time to access, a time to make changes and a time to start something new…
Sometimes we are so ecstatic about leaving things behind that we cant wait to be rid of them. But there are other times when we really don’t want to leave things behind. It might be friends or a house we particularly love or even a job. It may even be a habit that we know we need to kick but we are still fond of it.
There is often something left behind as we move to something new.
John 11:1-44 tells us the story of Lazarus. Lazarus was one of Jesus friends and towards the start of the story we learn that he has died. Jesus arrives three days later and raises him from the dead. As Lazarus arises he is still in the cloth they used to wrap his dead body in. Then Jesus says, “take off the grave clothes and let him go”.
This is a great picture of what God wants us to do. God wants us to get rid of our grave clothes, those things that bind us, weigh us down and distract us from His plans for our lives. He wants us to be free!
God wants us to wear ‘grace’ clothes, not ‘grave’ clothes.
When we accept Christ we are made new, but while we are on earth we are in the process of being renewed. We are on a journey to become more Christ-like, which takes time.
Lamentations 3:23 says that God’s mercies are new every morning and that God is faithful. God’s grace can wash over us a fresh every day. He is the God of new beginnings.
I want to encourage you, at the start of this New Year to throw off the grave clothes! Take a close look at your life and see if there are areas in your life that are weighing you down, holding you back and are not in line with God’s plans for you. Are there areas in your life where God is not number 1? Are their areas where you have accepted sin as normal?
I want to encourage you to put on your grace clothes and stand in the confidence that comes from knowing you are a child of God. He loves you dearly and wants you to live a fruitful life of freedom. You are a work in progress, allow God’s grace to free you today.
Thank you that I don’t have to wear grave clothes. Would you please show me any areas of my life where I have allowed sin to creep in? (wait and then confess what areas He shows you). I am sorry for the sin I have allowed into my life. I choose today to take off the grave clothes and replace them with your grace clothes. Will you please fill me with your love and the fruits of your Spirit. May they flow out of me and bless others.