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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Sin and Salvation in Storybook Land: The Emperor’s New Clothes"

August 27, 2004

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When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

There was once an emperor who loved beautiful clothes. One day two men came to his palace claiming to be weavers. They promised him the world’s most beautiful suit of clothes. So he hired the men and gave them a generous advance. Day after day they labored, although they had no cloth. After a time the king sent some of his advisers to see how the work was proceeding. They saw nothing, but not willing to risk the emperor’s wrath they returned with glowing praise. Finally the weavers summoned the king to see the finished product and to march in a special parade. Eager to wear the new suit, the king came. Although he could see nothing, the weavers talked about the suit and fitted it to his body with a flourish. “Could I be ignorant?” thought the king. “I can’t admit such a thing.” And so the king permitted the men to dress him in nothing, while praising them.

When he walked in the parade, none of the thousands of viewers could see anything, but no one dared say a word. Finally a young boy cried out, “Look at the king, he doesn’t have any clothes on.” But the proud emperor continued to walk in the parade with his head held high, wearing nothing but his birthday suit.

We laugh at the emperor, at his pride and stupidity. But doesn’t he mirror our relationship to God? Somehow we think we are such fine people. Pointing the finger at others, we pat ourselves on the back. Proudly we walk before God sporting our “fine” clothes. But God sees us as we really are – poor, miserable, sinful human beings.

But we need not stand naked before God. He offers us a brand new suit of clothes, made of the finest cloth. He sent His Son to die for our sins and rise again. We can put on the clean robe of Christ’s righteousness and stand before God as His beautiful, well-dressed sons and daughters.

PRAYER: Gracious Father, forgive us for our pride and foolishness. Clothe us in Christ’s righteousness. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 4-6    2 Corinthians 1

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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