How you dress can make more of a difference than you might think. Especially if you’re a 7-year-old boy dying of leukemia, and the biggest hope you had in the world was to grow up and be a fireman.
However you’re dressed, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
“Bopsy” was the nickname Frank Salazar’s family had for the 7-year-old boy who wanted to be a fireman for as long as his mom could remember. When the Phoenix Fire Dept was made aware of his condition, they exemplified today’s verse in the way they made him an honorary member. When Bopsy arrived at the fire station, a custom-made uniform, yellow fire-fighter’s jacket and helmet in his size were waiting for him. After getting into uniform, he used a fire hose and spent the day riding around Phoenix in Engine 1.
It was a wonderful day, but the Phoenix Fire Dept wasn’t finished. Fireman Bob Walp kept in touch. A few months later Bopsy was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital with days to live. From his bedside, Bopsy’s Mom heard a knock on the outside of his second floor window. Engine 1 had deployed its ladder, and the sight of Fireman Bob outside brought a smile to Bopsy’s face. Bob climbed into Bopsy’s room , and four other firefighters climbed up the ladder to wave at him.
“You know,” Bopsy told his mom, “I’d really like to go down to see them. I want to be out there with my team.” So he was wheeled downstairs and greeted by his friends from Fire Station 1 and their truck — renamed “B1” for “Bopsy 1.” They raised the ladder as high as it would go and one of them climbed to the top. It was like telling Bopsy, “Hey buddy, you’re on your way to heaven.”
Today’s verse says CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS AND PATIENCE.
Being compassionate and kind always takes an effort. That’s part of what makes them so valuable.
Of course, getting dressed also takes effort. But that never stops you from getting dressed before you go outside in the morning. If you’re like most people, at least some amount of thought and planning go into selecting your clothes, making sure they match, are clean, and possibly even ironed. But have you ever stopped to consider making sure that ALL OF YOU is properly clothed, not just your body? How about you and I taking the time to clothe our heart and soul, too?
The context of this verse speaks about our taking off our “old self” and putting on our “new self” – the one that is being renewed in the knowledge of the image of its Creator. Taking off and putting on are the same words we use when we talk about changing our clothes. That’s the image the Apostle Paul is conveying. It’s an act of the will, an effort. We choose what to take off, and we choose what to put on. Paul says these choices should be driven by the knowledge we are gaining as we are renewed in Christ’s image.
Speaking of effort, the bible says we should work at adding to our knowledge of Christ. When you’re building a relationship with someone, you invest time and effort to learn about them, don’t you? We are encouraged to make every effort to add virtue to your faith, that’s moral character that’s excellent. And to virtue we should add knowledge; because we can’t be what we do not know. But knowing gives us the proper direction, and that’s when we need self-control and perseverance to make right choices and stay on course to a life of godliness. That’s most clearly seen as we walk in brotherly kindness and love.
It takes effort, and determination. RECEIVING the life of Christ is a free gift. Walking out His life, His call and His destiny takes a determined effort. We do that BECAUSE He loves us and has made us HIs own, not to try and earn it. But a living love will always display itself, and displaying love takes effort.
CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH COMPASSION, KINDNESS, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS AND PATIENCE
Let your heart and soul be the best dressed they can be. Don’t worry about whether your wrist, neck or ears are properly accessorized. Earrings and necklaces won’t impact people for eternity. But compassion and kindness will. Which watch you’re wearing today won’t change someone’s life, but your gentleness and patience could. The best accessories are compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. The bible tells us to clothe OURSELVES with these.
So tomorrow, before you leave the house, don’t forget to get dressed.