How exactly do we put on Jesus? It makes sense in philosophical way I guess. The kind of way where you read it, you underline it, and think how powerful it is. Put what, in practical daily terms, does it look like to put on the Lord Jesus Christ? Paul uses the word imagery of taking off and putting on clothing to describe the transformation process of us taking off our carnal nature and putting on Christ’s nature. Galatians talks a little more practically about the Spirit’s role in this transformation process. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh… Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outburst of anger, disputes, dssensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you… But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5: 16, 20-23) The fruit, or the evidence of Christ in your life, is caused by daily choosing to yield to the Spirit working in us rather than to our operating by our worldly nature. In this we are choosing to put on Christ in our lives.
“And He said ‘Come!’ And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14: 29-31
Just imagine Peter staring at Jesus, climbing out of that boat, looking straight at His rabbi and walking out to Him. Then Peter realizes what he is actually doing and how crazy it really is… he is walking on water. What kind of thoughts do you think flood his mind? He looks around at the waves and the wind and at once starts sinking. How many times in our lives do we take our eyes off of Jesus and immediately start to feel like we are sinking in our fears. When we take our eyes off of Jesus we start doubting, second guessing and not trusting in Him. Keep your eyes on Him. Keep trusting in Him no matter the waves and wind going on around you. Give that anxiety and doubt to Him trough prayer and thanksgiving ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:7)
“Then Peter came and said to HIm, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18: 21-22
I am Peter. “BUT Lord…. Again??? I don’t want to anymore…” This is one of the hardest things for me to do; to wrap my head around. God is calling us to continually forgive people, even the same exact person, when they continually sin against us. If I am being honest it gets a little tiring, and annoying, and difficult to live in a state where I am always letting that person of the hook. When I am hurt, it is hard enough for me to let go of my pride and fully forgive the first time let alone the 2,3,4, or 28 time. But I am learning that forgiveness is not a once and for all type of thing. It is something I have to continually work at, sometimes (most times), daily. Even when I have already forgiven and let them go for something that was said or done and then a few days latter I start thinking about it again. I start holding it against them again and start getting bitter again. I have to learn to forgive again. Seventy x Seven.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he mediates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
The Lord wants your life to be one that is marked as blessed. One that makes you fulfilled. He gives instruction here about what to not have in your life and what to have in your life if you want to be filled with the blessings of the Lord. How blessed, how fulfilled, is the man who does not surround himself with the wicked and foolish. I bet the converse is true as well. How fulfilled is the man when he surrounds himself with people who encourage each other in the Lord! More importantly the psalmist says the blessed man is one who mediates day and night on the Word of the Lord. One who plants their roots in the truths and promises of God. This person, the person continually connected to the Life… the Word, they will bear fruit in their season. They will live their life fulfilled in the Lord. They will prosper and be blessed by the One they are connected to. Jesus talks about this in John chapter 15, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (v. 4-5)