CLOTHED WITH THE GARMENTS OF SALVATION
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,…” (Isa 61:10 ESV).
FATHER, I will rejoice with holy joy, to Your honor. For the beauty of Your grace has clothed me with a durable covering. You have provided this garment for protection and ornamentation. It is the image of the church—how You defend it and make it beautiful (ref#16, [Isa 61:10]).
“For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown…to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations” (Isa 61:11 ESV).
May I be pleasing to You with the righteousness and salvation that JESUS CHRIST clothes me. I rejoice to think of the fathomless blessings that shall spring forth for future ages and spread to distant regions—from generation to generation. How great is Your salvation that shall be published and proclaimed to all the world and the ends of the earth shall see it (ref#18, [Isa 61:10-11]).
CHRIST JUSTIFIES, THEN SANCTIFIES
“Thou hast shown me that because thou art mine
I can live by thy life,
be strong in thy strength,
be guided by thy wisdom;
and so I can pitch my thoughts and heart in thee” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p167).
FATHER, CHRIST does not remove the gap between You and me that sin causes, then sit back and expect me to make and maintain a relationship with You, no—He actually transforms me into a creature that brings You joy (ref#35, p289). He makes me suited to fellowship with You. He makes me…
“He [CHRIST] does not only justify his saints from the guilt of sin, but also sanctify and wash them from the filth of sin….He makes us not only accepted, but acceptable” John Owen (ref#35, p 291, [brackets mine]).
He is as a refiner’s fire so whatever in me that is of the SPIRIT, remains and whatever is of my natural self is consumed. CHRIST does not let me be independent. CHRIST never lets me alone to rely on my depraved natural self. In every minute of life He provides new supplies of grace through the SPIRIT. I must have new grace for every new morning. It is He, Himself Who is constantly working in me to will and do His good pleasure (Phil 2:13) (ref#35, p293).
FATHER, I can observe Your magnificence by looking at creation, but Your lovingkindness can only be seen through CHRIST JESUS (ref#35, p185). Give me the countenance to comprehend such adoring provision.
“O the depth of the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments, and how untraceable the paths He takes…” Kenneth S. Wuest (ref#37, p372,373, [Rom 11:33]).
FATHER, the book of Nahum declares that You are slow to anger yet great in power (Nahum 1:3). How is it that You see Your enemies yet do not rouse Yourself to wrath but hold Your anger?
Remind me, that Your power is not a power that has to prove itself over and over. It is so great that no challenge comes close to overcoming You. It is Your greatness that brings me grace and goodness (ref#34, Feb 22nd PM).
“When Moses said, ‘I beseech thee, show me thy glory,’ God replied, ‘I will make all my goodness pass before thee’ (Exod 33:18-19). Not, ‘I will make all My power, My majesty, My holiness pass before thee’ but ’I will make all My goodness to the weak, the sinful, and the undeserving pass before thee’… His glory is His grace (Eph 1:6)” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p32).
FATHER, I naturally desire You show Your power—how often have I prayed, “LORD, show everyone how great You are by miraculously healing so and so.” I always want You to exalt Yourself. But isn’t that so “I” can be proud of You? “You are ‘my’ GOD who has great power.” Thus “I” boast and in so doing “I” give myself glory.
“Glory in a man’s eyes is always that which exalts him…God’s glory consists in the very reverse—not so much in His ability to exalt Himself and humble man, but in His willingness to humble Himself for the sake of man; not so much in a mighty display of power that would break in pieces those that oppose Him, but rather in the hiding of that power and the showing of grace to the undeserving when they turn to Him in repentance” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p31,32).
“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isa 57:15 ESV).
GREAT GOD, You are unsearchable in Your judgments and Your paths are untraceable. Yet You make Yourself approachable!
THE FATHER: THE SON
…FATHER, I am “…vulnerable, fragile and exposed” (Ezek 16:7, MSG). For no reason I can come up with, You pass by and see that I am unable to help myself and You have compassion on me. It’s as if I am the only one in the world and You, being all love, turn aside and made a marriage covenant with me. You care for and protect me; You take me for Yourself (Ezek 16:8).
You take me as Your bride and live as if everyday is Your wedding day. You dispose Yourself to rear me for my advantage. You delight in me, gaining much joy and pleasure. Amid Your exultation You rest and are complacent (Zeph 3:17), having no interest in seeking a greater joy.
CHRIST, You delight to make me a friend ( John 15:14,15)—telling me secrets that the FATHER had not revealed until You came as the Son of Man (ref#35, p231). You open Yourself to me so I can find out everything about You (ref#35, p232). I am able to see You as “altogether lovely.”
And, You allow me to make my heart known to You. However, in order that I might be intimate with You, You must assist me. You supply the SPIRIT (Rom 8:26,27). When I am inclined to hide myself You call for the SPIRIT to bring me back into communication with You (ref#35, p233). You provide the SPIRIT to keep me continuing in our relationship. So it is that You delight in my prosperity, which makes me delight in our give-and-take fellowship (ref#35, p245).
FATHER, so CHRIST has taken me into His care and rejoices in me (ref#35, p230). As You, Yourself love me, so also CHRIST (John 16:27).