Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.”
Yesterday, I made a bold decision and decided to wear white pants! I had purchased the cute denim capris a while ago, but just didn’t have the guts to wear them. White is intimidating. From the moment, I put them on I was immediately aware of my surroundings including everything and anything that might come in contact with my pristine pants. If I brushed up against anything, I immediately inspected the point of contact for a mark. Of course for lunch I had a tomato-based pasta brought to work by a friend, I couldn’t offend them or refuse their hospitality so I ate slowly, carefully and meticulously not to let anything drip on me. I also noticed that in white it seems that every imperfection is more defined. Ladies, you know what I mean. The bumps and curves show a little more. Why all the hoopla? Well, if anything were to get on my white pants it would be completely visible and stand out like a sore thumb. For the rest of the day, I would feel like a two-year-old caught playing in their Sunday best. Naturally as I exited the grocery store laden with food and supplies, the sky graciously decided to release a torrential downpour which made my white pants transparent. By the time I finally made it home and was able to change clothes, I was totally relieved as though my mission was accomplished.
“White pants” could be compared to righteousness in Christ. Each day should begin with repentance that strips us of the dirt and stain of sin to walk flawlessly with the Lord. Most people do not know or understand the potential of the life we have been given. When sin is removed, the blessing and favor of God can now reach us as the barrier is removed. We can walk in everything God has promised for the day because sin no longer keeps it from us. God put it there for us. He intended for us to have a good life. When we choose the filthy rags of sin over the whiteness of righteousness, we choose less than God’s Very Best. The heightened awareness that I had yesterday as I maneuvered through my day trying not to get dirty should be my approach to life without sin. What if Christians perceived their life in white? What if believers focused on righteousness and a commitment to maintaining our relationship with Jesus Christ? When we continue to walk in darkness, we don’t worry about it because we blend right in just a mark on dark pants. But when we choose to walk in the Light of His Love, we see things differently than before. Life is not the same as usual. The natural becomes supernatural.
Revelation 3:1-6 (NLT)
Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.”
“You have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead.” Welcome to modern day Christianity. We report that we have been saved, healed and delivered in Jesus Christ but many are not. We testify look what the Lord has done but really there is a whole bunch of people faking it until they make it in God. Our daughters went to church camp this week out in the woods with many young people. Just a few weeks ago, they went to highly promoted conference with many famous Christians who got them all pumped up about Jesus and empowered them to live openly for the Lord. Big production, loud music, light show, t-shirts, famous names – the works. They loved it. Had the time of their life. It was the first time for our youngest. When she got back she was all excited about what she experienced there. So when it came time to get ready for this camp, I asked her how she was feeling after coming back from such a big event to head out to the woods to learn quietly about the Lord. She told me that at the conference she was all excited and pumped up with energy but at this little camp she feels the Lord here and put her hand to her chest. This is the real deal. I have hardly gotten a chance to speak to my girls this week as they are having an “awesome” time (their words not mine.) We need to get back to the basics of Christianity. The church has lost its power. We no longer rely on our Strength who is Jesus but have come back to self. There is power in the Blood but only if we use it to exchange scarlet sin to be washed white as snow.
As true believers, we should live like we are in white seven days a week and three hundred sixty five days a year. It matters how we live. Our reputation is our testimony to the world. To pretend to live for the Lord is a fatal mistake. Do not be deceived. Submission to God allows us to have everything He promised. To live for Him is a commitment, just like my white pants. For that day, I avoided anything that might leave a mark. I was careful not to soil my clothing. Friends, when we live like this in righteousness things will begin to change. This is what grace and mercy are all about. Like a stain stick tucked away so if we do mess up or get a mark – we can quickly erase it just like new. The Lord warns the Church of Sardis that those who walk with Him in white are worthy… I want to walk like that. Worthy of my call the way that Jesus says I can be. It just takes a little consideration in the midst of everyday life. To remember that we love Jesus before reacting and waiting until we form the right response. To avoid those things that degrade us as Christians choosing to become believers instead. People so in love with Jesus that we do not want to do anything to offend or tarnish His Good Name. I want that to be me. Everyday. Not just the days, I choose to wear white.
Romans 3:23-24 (NLT)
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Righteousness is a priceless gift given to us by God through His Sacrifice of Jesus. Everyone has sinned. We all fall short of God’s Glorious Standard. This standard offers us an opportunity to reclaim our birthright as God’s Children. Too often it is forsaken like Esau just for a meal. (Hebrews 12:16-17) We must live for our Father’s Blessing to have an inheritance in Him. By choosing to seek the Kingdom of God first above all other things, we choose the Goodness and Favor of God over anything this world has to offer and God meets us right there with everything we need and want right there with Him. (Matthew 6:33) So why aren’t there more Christians making an effort to have a good reputation in the Lord living right lives and seeing miraculous results? Good question.
Romans 4:2-5 (NLT)
If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.
Why don’t I wear white more often? Because I do not have confidence in myself that I can keep them white. I am afraid that they will get stained and not come clean so I choose to wear them selectively which is silly. I have a washer and dryer. I have laundry detergent and every stain remover know to God and man. If that doesn’t work, I can always look on Pinterest for yet another stain solution. But at the end of the day, they are just a pair of pants that will get worn out over time if I don’t outgrow them first or lose them to one of my closet-shopping daughters. Fear of failure and lack of faith keep us from walking in the blessings of God which is silly. Grace and mercy are the lifeblood of our existence and supplied in copious amounts for our use. Yes we will mess up but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to live a life pleasing to God. Of course, there will be days when our faith is overcome by fear but those will become fewer and fewer the more we walk with Jesus. We don’t have to do anything other than believe that God loves sinners and forgives their every one enough to try. When we stop trying to live a life of careful repentance and conscious righteousness – we become like the church of Sardis who are warned of a rude awakening when Jesus returned. I want Him to find me in white!
Psalm 51:7-12 (NLT)
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.