April 12, 2011
“Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.” John 11:43-44 The Message
Fitting into the world or Form-Fitted by the Son …?
Jesus gave you a great gift when He “shouted” for Lazarus to come out of his grave. He shouted .. loudly for everyone to hear and see what God was doing. And then Jesus does what only Jesus would do: He asked for “friends” to unwrap his grave-clothes. Too often .. we become accustomed to wearing grave-clothes and thinking this is just how life will be lived until Jesus returns. It isn’t. Jesus didn’t call you to live a solitary life from each other .. to tend to your own clothes and leave others to tend to their grave-clothes. In fact .. you can’t take off your own grave-clothes. You need friends to help you loosen them and even help you “get-out-of-them”. Those grave-clothes are all those things you’ve worn or worn yourself out trying to live the Christ-in-me-life. Your old life was and is accustomed to just putting on another layer of living in a fallen world. Your new life is made for Jesus to teach you how to love the life that He is living in you. You weren’t made to “put-on” or “take-off” by yourself. Jesus called you to be friends .. friends who love deeply .. and friends who love completely .. just like He loved you and loves you now! If you’re trying to wear this Christ-Life on your own , you will make a mess of things. Taking off those grave-clothes means opening yourself to a new life that you’ve never lived. Taking off those grave-clothes means opening your heart and throwing your arms wide open around fault-filled people just like yourself. It means forgiving quickly and completely. You don’t do “it” simply because you have to or it’s what a Christ Follower does. You do it because you know how completely and quickly Jesus has forgiven you. You can wear those grave-clothes a long time and others will leave you alone .. or .. you’ll discover real friends who help you get undressed in order to be bless-dressed for the life you have in Christ. It’s scary to ask for help. You may be rejected .. refused .. or life-restored. In any case .. you aren’t wearing those grave-clothes and you don’t have to anymore! When do you begin …? It only takes a moment …
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Colossians 3:12-14 New Living Translation
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Basic-All Purpose Followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (firstname.lastname@example.org)