Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February 8, 2012 … Dressed for [Spiritual] Success

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Exodus, Chapters 28-29 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Exodus 28: 1-5 … : … [Dressed for Leadership in Worship] … [Yahweh’s Instructions to Moses … 1 “Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests. 2 Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. 3 Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother Aaron and his sons, so they may serve me as priests. 5 Have them use gold, and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and fine linen. …
31 “Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the LORD and when he comes out, so that he will not die.”

Exodus 29: 44-46 … : … [Consecrated for Worship] … [Yahweh’s Continued Instructions to Moses … 44 “So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. 45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.”
1st Peter 2: 9-10 … : … [A Royal Priesthood] … [Yahweh’s Continued Instructions to Moses … 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

My Journal for Today: Today, in my chronological trek through the Bible, I was led to read from Exodus, Chapters 28-29 where God instructs Moses in the establishment of the line of Levite priests, … as well as, in detail, how these descendants of Aaron were to dress and be consecrated for worship. And, from the highlighted passages, which I’ve copied above from these two chapters in Exodus, that’s why I titled my devotional today, Dressed for [Spiritual] Success. There was great detail from God about how the Tabernacle Priests were to be outfitted and God took great lengths to give instructions to Moses about the leadership of the Tabernacle and how He, Yahweh, was to be worshipped during His people’s trek through the desert.

And as I read through and meditated upon these chapters this morning, another passage reference from the New Testament bubbled into my consciousness [i.e., 1st Peter 2: 9-10], which I’ve also copied above for your edification. I brought up the latter passage because, not only are we, as His chosen New Covenant Christians, charged to be worshippers who are “living sacrifices” [see Romans 12: 1], we are, according to the NT passage above, The Lord’s “royal priesthood.”

And as I was meditating on all of this, it caused me to contemplate on how our corporate worship has become so contemporized and “culturalized” (I know, not words – but concepts which hopefully communicates) that our attempts to accept anyone to “come as they are” to our worship services has “dressed-down” our roles as God’s “royal priesthood” in our world of corporate worship today.

Now please don’t mistakenly take what I’m about to say as prideful or judgmental; but, I’ve been asked by some in my church why I choose to ALWAYS wear a suit and tie or the best threads I have to worship service in our church on Sundays. Many come to our worship service in their everyday jeans or very casual “threads.” And I have to confess being “turned-off” a bit by such dress for Sunday worship.

Years ago, my Christian grandmother taught me a lesson about how I should dress; and this was years before I became a Christian. She told me, in preparing to go to our church on Sunday, “Bill, when you go to someone’s wedding or funeral, your mom and dad will always want you to wear your best to honor the couple being married or the person being buried. So, shouldn’t you wear your best to Church each Sunday to honor God?” I’ve never forgotten that lesson; and I apply it today to the way I dress for “Spiritual success” for my worship. And this is especially the case since I happen to be one of the Elders in my church as well as an “Ordained Minister” of the Gospel by my church.

But really, and I have to guard against being judgmental here, since we’re all part of God’s “royal priesthood,” when you read the above passages, wouldn’t you say that we – God’s royal New Testament priesthood – who have become God’s temple of worship (see 1st Cor. 6: 19), should be dressing the part and witnessing our worship in the same way God instructed for worship by the Levites in the time of their exodus toward the promised land. We – in the New Covenant – are also trekking through life toward the “promised land” [of heaven]; and we have God’s tabernacle in our hearts. Therefore, I think (just my belief and opinion) we should be witnesses to our LORD, the Yahweh of the Old AND New Covenant, by the way we dress when we come for corporate, or Temple, worship. Hence, I don’t see myself wearing my jeans or khakis and a sweatshirt on Sunday mornings. I choose to wear my best – as I would to your wedding or funeral – honoring the One true and living God, Who mercifully saved me and has sanctified me to be part of His “royal priesthood.”

My friend, you can wear what you want to church; because God will, in fact and in truth, accept anyone’s genuine and humble worship from the heart, no matter what they wear. However, if you come to Collierville, TN, and to Central Church on Sunday mornings, you will see Bill Berry wearing his “Sunday best” as I come into the House of God to worship and praise the LORD Who saved me. And I hope you don’t think that’s an “uppity” attitude. It’s just one member of God’s “royal priesthood” trying to live up to the instructions God has given to His line of priests [see above] as to how our LORD is to be worshipped.

And as Lily Tomlin used to say with a childish lisp as “Edith Ann,” on Laugh-In … “That’s the truth!” … [and you can see it with this link]

My Prayer Today: … Lord, there is no laughing at the way we present ourselves as Your “royal priesthood” and as we worship You in loving witness, coming to Your tabernacle of deliverance on Sunday mornings. Amen

No comments: