Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans 13:14
Some might read this Bible passage and think that all we have to do to be a Christian is to put on Christ just like we would a fancy set of clothing. Some would say, “As long as we look like Christ in some superficial way, then we don’t have to be like Christ in any meaningful way.” This is exactly what the Pharisees were trying to do. They not only wore their WWJD (What Would Jehovah Do?) bracelets on their arms, but on their foreheads as well. It wasn’t enough.
We all have seen ill-mannered people dressed in fine clothes. They may look respectable, but it is only a matter of time before they show what they’re really like on the inside. Jesus spoke of such people (and of all of us) when He said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).
Our problem is not that we aren’t dressed properly, but that we have a diseased heart. The trouble with a bad heart is not only that dressing it up doesn’t heal it, but that we can’t transplant a healthy heart ourselves. Fortunately Jesus is the Great Physician who creates in us a new heart through Baptism and God’s Word. Only through Christ’s power can we forget the desires of our sinful heart and find ourselves clothed in Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Jesus Christ, thank You for bringing joy to us in the world. May we delight in the peace that comes through the forgiveness of our sins. Amen.
© 2006 Lutheran Hour Ministries
These devotions have been written by Rev. Paul and Kaye Wolff. Rev. Paul Wolff is a 1996 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as a pastor in the Detroit area for 10 years. He and co-author wife, Kaye, live in Southfield, Michigan.
Kaye Dumas Wolff is Chairperson of the Black Ministry Church Planting Task Force and a Mission Affiliate of LCMS World Missions where she serves as a training facilitator for laity in evangelism and mission work. Kaye serves on the Advisory Council of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and she is a presenter for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping to Share Workshop.
Click here for an audio version of today's devotion (3MB, MP3).