Summary: We need daily renewal, and reminding that we belong to God.
Today is September 11. Where were you 10 years ago on September 11, 2001 How did you feel that day?
There are other tragedies that have gone on and that are going on right now all around the world, I know.
However, in modern memory there is no other single day that stands out like September 11. For those of us who were alive then, the events of that day are seared into our collective consciousness.
The trauma of that day impacted each of us like few other public events. The loss of the innocent, the heroic sacrifice of the first responders – many of whom it must be acknowledged acted full well knowing everything was on the line for them
The sheer national and continental and international shock of the attacks that day – all of these things are burned into our memories. It was a day that rocked the world.
I’m not going to talk a whole lot more about 9/11 today. I do think it’s important that we acknowledge the day, though, even as our neighbours to the south remember the anniversary of that day and as they continue to keep watch over the threats that still come their way.
People still want to recreate such horror. There are people who feel justified perpetrating evil, who with the most twisted view of God imaginable, feel they are honouring Him in by murder.
So I’m not going to talk any more about 9/11. In fact, I prefer to talk about something that is in stark contrast to the evil of that terrible day. Something that, set beside the hate and ignorance and wickedness of those responsible for the attacks, is perhaps to be appreciated even more.
I’m going to ask ________ and _________ to read from Romans 13.
Now there are some people who live without going in debt. My sister and brother-in-law actually are two of the few I know in this day and age who have always lived without debt, despite owning a home and raising two children.
Pretty remarkable in this age where opportunities to go into debt are everywhere. Barb and I get credit card offers thrown at us all the time.
But it’s clear from this Scripture that indebtedness is not a good thing. It’s clear that God wants you and me to be free of debt, to not be beholden to anyone.
Perhaps to live closer to the means he has given us. But there is one good debt to have. A debt that God wants to never be satisfied or paid off. What is that debt?
It is the debt to love one another. Now there’s whole lot in this passage to touch on as we go into this, but I think it’s best to focus in on the last verse: “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature”.
I need to confess something. There are a lot of commentaries out there that a lot of folks use when preparing sermons, aids to understanding the Scriptures. But I don’t use them, generally speaking. You may wish that I did.
But this week, at the gathering that Maryellen hosted, I asked the group what they thought of this passage of Scripture, and they shared some great insights off the cuff.
So I thank them or their input. If what I share is good, you can credit the good folks at the gathering. If it’s not so good, I’ll take the blame
What does it mean to clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ? I love how the Bible uses simple ideas to convey really profound and powerful spiritual truths. We all know what it means to clothe ourselves. Hopefully all of us here today are clothed.
We give thought to what we’ll wear, don’t we? Now it’s probably fair to say that some people put a lot more thought into how they present themselves than others. When Barb and I go out, she will often put a few different outfits on the bed and mix and match and consider which is best and she’ll ask my opinion or the kids’ opinion.
I usually give about 10 seconds thought to what I’m going to where to any given occasion. It just never occurs to me. Is that a guy thing?
But the Scripture says: “Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a call to daily embrace my identity in Christ.
To be a Christ-follower is to understand that my worth and value flows from my belovedness from God. It flows first from the fact that, as Genesis says, humans are dignified by where they came from:
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”.