Zion Baptist Church
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - April 2010
The first day of school. Easter Sunday. Going on a job interview. Celebration dinners. A wedding day. What do these occasions have in common? These are what we call “dress up” days. For special “dress up” days, we are careful about our choice of clothes. We want to look really good, or at least as good as we can!
Every year when school started, we usually had a new outfit to wear, including new shoes. On Easter Sunday all the girls and ladies tried to have a new spring dress, and new white shoes. In many parts of our country this included a new hat as well. Many men may have sported a new shirt and tie. When you dressed for a job interview you tried to strike the right note for the job you were applying for. Not too fussy, not too formal, but also not too casual, and certainly not sloppy.
And how do you dress for the special meals, lunch or dinner, when celebrating a birthday, or an anniversary? Or for the ladies especially, the dinner when you received your engagement ring? Or the evening you told your husband you were going to be parents?
Probably the most important “dress up” day is a wedding day. The entire bridal party will be clothed in finery, men in tuxedos, bridesmaids in matching gowns. The bridal party is there to complement the bride. She will be the center of attention and all eyes will be on her. The bride dresses so carefully for the wedding ceremony. There is no other “dress up” day that will take so much time and preparation for such a short amount of time. And when the dressing up is completed, the bride will look joyous and glowing. This is not vanity, but rejoicing in happiness, looking forward to being joined with her bridegroom.
In Isaiah 61:10 we read “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
God wants His children to be joyful and to rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, our bridegroom. God gave us garments of joy through His grace. We are clothed with “garments of salvation.” We are covered with the “robe of
righteousness.” God does not see our sins and failures. We are wearing clothes that proclaim we belong to Him. These garments from God don’t just hide our sins. They make us beautiful and spotless. God has taken us as His own, and provides all that we need. He makes sure we “dress up” the day we accept Jesus in our hearts.
When we truly accept God’s gift we will also greatly rejoice in the Lord. God wants to be in our lives, even desires that we come to Him. God doesn’t take us begrudgingly like a poor stepchild, reminding us how unworthy we are of His attention. He doesn’t begrudge us the beautiful garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness. He loves us and celebrates our day with us. Because we know we have been totally forgiven, and our sins are wiped away so as not to offend God, we can truly rejoice.
Just as the bride on her special day, we too can have that glowing look and be joyous and rejoicing, dressed in the finest garments God can give us. Wedding gowns are sometimes passed to a daughter or granddaughter to wear on their special day. Most of the time, however, the wedding dress is cleaned and kept in a garment bag, hung in the back of a closet. However, the garments God has given us will last through eternity, just like His love for us will last through eternity.