A Red Ribbon Rising Up and Wrapping ‘Round the Penitent Man – The Robe

I don’t know the exact moment, when the revelation occurred, but to be aware of this truth everyday is life changing.

You could say I am a visual person. When I heard the song “The Robe” sung by Wes King, years ago, I was given a visual, and a new understanding of what Christ did for me on the cross.

If you are an unbeliever, and aren’t sure you want to read this, hang in there, it’s very cool. And for believers, it is an awesome truth to celebrate.

When Christ died he shed his blood, he died in our place. Often times you might hear expressions like “we’re covered in his blood”, “we’re clothed in His righteousness”.

Isaiah 61:10 tells us “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Before Christ we were separated from God because of sin. When Christ died on the cross, his act of sacrifice, his blood, covered those who chose to believe.

When God looks at someone who has accepted Christ as their Savior, he sees someone who is righteous, someone covered in the robe of righteousness, someone he is no longer separated from. We can approach God and talk to him anytime, because of what Christ did. We are his children, we are his bride. We belong to him, and He is our Bridegroom and King.

When I heard the lyrics below I could see Christ’s precious blood flowing from his hands and side, forming a red ribbon, rising up and weaving, and wrapping ’round the penitent man.

The Robe

Anyone whose heart is cold and lonely
Anyone who can’t believe
Anyone whose hands are worn and empty
Come as you are

Anyone whose feet are tired of walking
And even lost their will to run
There is a place of rest for your aching soul
Come as you are

For the robe is of God
That will clothe your nakedness
And the robe is His grace
It’s all you need
Come as you are

Anyone who feels that they’re unworthy
Anyone whose just afraid
Come sinner, come and receive His mercy
Come as you are

©Wes King

The Robe music video

As Wes puts it, the robe will “clothe our nakedness.” This gives me a picture of my loneliness, my emptiness and shame before I chose to believe, before I was clothed in his righteousness.

Wes continues, “the robe is His grace, and it’s all you need, come as you are.” He fashioned this robe for us not because of anything we did, but because of his love for us. We don’t deserve it, but he extends this robe to us anyway. Once we choose to accept it, reach out and take it and put him on, we are forgiven. We are at peace, we hear our purpose and meaning whispered on the wind of the Holy Spirit. There is joy!

How many believers today truly grasp that Christ is all we need?

I love how Paul tells us in Romans 13:14, that we are to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Believer, when you wake up today, put on that robe. When you fall or stumble, remember you are covered. Repent and press on, in your royal robe of righteousness.

And those of you who are choosing to believe just now – He is all you will ever need from here on. Find a fellow believer who can read and study the Bible with you.

Save Us from the Lie of The Fairy Tale

(please realize this blog post may not fit every scenario, and is not meant to. However it is my hope we can all glean more of His truth and grow.)

It is very dangerous to assume you know what is going on in another person’s life.  When you hear someone is hurting, you probably spend a lot of time asking yourself questions.  How can I help them?  How did they get here?  What did I miss?  What can I do?  Or, who can I blame?

It is especially difficult to speculate why a couple has separated.  Just because it happens everyday, doesn’t mean the world still sits on its axis.  It isn’t our job to fix people, but let’s be honest, we can ache, and we do.  We are all affected, we can’t stand around and pretend it isn’t happening.

Our daughter was having trouble making decisions the other day.  Her choice seemed so simple, until I realized that a relative’s family break-up was behind her indecision. You don’t have to be smack in the middle of a couple’s separation to come undone – just close enough to see the knife in their eyes, and Rapunzel’s wall begins to crumble. No one comes to wake the sleeping princess.  Suddenly you realize all the fairy tales read to you before bedtime, were just that – fairy tales. The color fades from the pages, and all that is left is reality.

Today’s reality reveals that many of the princes and princesses who vowed ’till death do us part, have fallen asleep.  Many have experienced extreme difficulty in their relationships.  Some have written other story-lines in which to live in, one that allows them to be who they want to be, or one that gives them permission to disappear.

How many people marry and believe that their soul mate, knight in shining armor, or Cinderella, is going to save them?  Save them from what exactly?  Reality?  Mistaken Identity?

How can we be who we want to be, if we don’t even know who we were meant to be?  We will not find ourselves by gazing in our spouse’s eyes.  All the love song lyrics in the world can never create the perfect love story, the perfect feeling perhaps, but only for a moment.  So how do we get to the “happy ever after”?

We will not find ourselves in our children’s eye’s, either.

I suggest we look to the truth, however boring that has become to our heavily sedated entertained minds.  The truth paints a much different picture and approach than we are used to.  The truth doesn’t come in comic book color, rather a politically incorrect black and white.  However – the truth deals in reality and guarantees a happy ending.  How can this be?  This happy ending isn’t woven by our own will, but the will of a true prince.  He died to save us from the lie of the fairy tale.  He knows who we are supposed to be, and can give us abundant life in every way.  By looking in his eyes, we no longer expect others to live up to our unrealistic super human expectations.  We can make mistakes, they can make mistakes.  But the truth does not make mistakes.  Because He is faithful, we too can be faithful.

Do you know who you are?

Do you know who Jesus says you are?

James 1:23 tells us “Do not merely listen to the word and deceive yourselves, do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.

Please don’t take this verse as a recipe for “doing”.  If you do anything – dig in the word.  Ask Jesus to reveal His truth to you, and then live by it.










The Kind of Freedom that Chases Bitterness into Hell

I need to deviate from my spring cleaning blog-apades to talk about the saddest truth in the world.  I know – talk about jumping from the trivial to the life threatening, or should I say soul sickening?

I was reading a blog yesterday, someone said Jesus never promised us a wonderful life.  The writer’s point is only half-true.  Jesus asks we believers to pick up our cross and follow him.  Grant it, carrying a cross doesn’t necessarily sound “wonderful”.  But I can’t think of anything more hopeful and peaceful. What ever cross it turns out to be for you or for me, we don’t have to carry it alone.  And staring truth in the face makes our cross so much lighter.

At first I thought the saddest truth in the world was that everyone gets hurt.  But now I know the saddest truth in the world is that everyone at one time or another forgets Jesus hurt the most so we wouldn’t have to.

We get hurt and lose sight of everything except ourselves.  When Jesus hung on the cross he saw everyone and everything but himself.

If you’re hurting today and you’re tired of waiting around for cast to come off…

Think of the person who hurt you and do something that will make them feel better.  Run towards them like your life and their life depends on it.  Because it does.  And what ever you do, don’t second guess yourself.  Faith isn’t about second guessing.

Run towards that person and wrap your arms around them.  No buts, no justifications, no judging, no wriggling out of it, no high and mighty religious excuses.  Don’t think!

I can’t promise what they will do.  But I want to be around when I see you smile.  The kind of smile that changes the world, the kind of freedom that chases bitterness into hell.

Living Vertical in a Horizontal World

Good morning Jesus. It has been an interesting week, holding on tight to your hand and walking with you while you open my eyes and lift my chin gently upwards with the tips of your fingers.  You keep me living vertical.

Windows and doors open all around me, revealing images of this world’s reality, of our perilous soul condition.  Objects of desire are blotting out the Son, blind sheep still wander.  The weight of it wraps around my feet and threatens to keep me horizontal.  The pain of it tries to drown me, but you severed my ball and chain on the cross, and we walked into freedom from the tomb.

Since you joined the Father and left your Spirit here, there’s a lot of seeking going on, but not for you.  Your truth has been traded for brighter lights, bigger toys, man’s temporary fascinations.  As if we can compete with you and your design, your purpose and your plan? Have we forgotten the cycle of history repeating itself?  Our struggles and our triumphs are not original, or the first, or the last, but You are.

You hand crafted our intricate, brilliant minds in your image, kissed our lungs with air and yet some can’t even bring themselves to speak your name.  So much safer and hip to use the buzz words of the day, so non-committal, so plastic intelligence, empty, and most of all – powerless.  But my soul is not downcast.

You delight to say my name and called me before the earth felt the warmth of the sun.  The realization that I even bleep on your radar slays me, that I am so much smaller than the stars, yet matter more to you than the entire universe put together.  I am but a speck of star-dust orbiting around you.  You are a mystery magnet I cannot explain. I am in awe of you and go deeper, past the velvet curtains of your solar systems to the beginning and the end, into your heart.

How do I know you are real?  How do I know there is one God, and that you love me?  How do I know I have nothing to fear when I put my trust in you?  You have proven yourself over and over and over again.  Every living cell bears your seal, every generation has witnessed the majesty of your handiwork.

The closer I come to you, the faster you run to me.  I don’t need to see the exact lines of your face to feel you here beside me.  I am not ashamed, and I will not apologize for believing in a baby born in Bethlehem, born of God and born of man.

As the world grows darker, as the pages of time draw to an earthly close, even though my body may lie down before the trumpet sounds, keep my spirit living vertical.  I love you.

My “New Year” Prayer

The New Year sky is draped in pink, with lower layers of twilight, a hue made from reflecting snow and sunset blue.  The silhouette of barren trees delicately balance the ribbons of color in their branches, waiting for the moon’s signal to bow and let the curtain fall.

And it will fall, time and again just as the sun will rise.  The seasons will continue to ebb and flow like the tide and the wrinkles will come and the newborns will cry.  And I continue to pray, like my Grandmother before me, for my children, and my future children’s children.

There is much to see here on planet earth, much to taste and hold and touch and learn about but nothing like the love of a Father who spoke the stars in place, one to shine on each of us.  He casts His light on this dark world and calls our name, warms our face.  We turn slowly as if surprised that someone beyond our universe could possibly be standing there, could possibly inhabit our hearts!

But He is and He can and as of late I wait and pray and plead with anticipation and expectation for the same sunset truth to flicker in my children’s souls, no matter where they are or what their burdens may be.  I look out my window and back in time to recall the stories of old where waves were drawn up and Seas were crossed, and walls fell down at a trumpet’s sound.  Nothing is impossible with my God, nothing is impossible for Him!  I remember angelic visits, visions and dreams and mouths of lions held shut, fires that could not burn the men inside the flame because of my God!

Then there is His mercy, that no man will ever comprehend or understand or equal.  Oh Lord, be merciful to my children and to me.  Adjust our eyes that we might see, our wills that we may follow you as a soldier plunges forward in the front-lines.  Give us courage to leave what ever our nets may be to run after you.  May we never forget forgiveness is but one word away, one nail away, one tombstone rolled away, and love covers a multitude of sin!

Is Distraction Waxing Your Heart Cold?

What is it that is keeping you from the Truth tonight, tomorrow’s almighty “to do” list?

Beware of busy, anything that keeps you moving long enough and fast enough to wax your heart cold. Beware of distraction, anything that makes you look good on the outside, but sucks the life out of your insides.

Is truth being traded for a movie, with far too many vulgar words for Christ to watch with you?

Is Truth being muffled by negative thoughts, self-pity and pain, walls of justification?  Those walls may feel like protection but are barriers to peace and forgiveness, that keep the Truth at a distance and allow bitterness to carve a lonely canyon for the sound of echoing broken promises.

Beware, those faults you once found others guilty of could become your own.

Is Truth being crowded out by technology, one more trick to learn or game to play or hour to waste, of the precious time Christ bought for you – with his blood?  This gift of time has always been meant for simple trust, childlike faith, close accounts, repentant tears, light-hearted joy – revelation and communion.

Is Truth being stomped out by our personal muscle flexing, our conquests to conquer, as if somehow we’ll rack up points, get His attention, earn His affection, or at least our peers?  We’re doing what, in who’s name?

He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, He is our super-hero, and everything He calls us to do is to accentuate His work, to bring Him Glory.  It is His name we proclaim, we are not here to make a name for ourselves.

Recommended Truth Reading:  Matthew Chapter 6