“His eyes are ablaze keeping watch o’er the nations of men.”
Dear Striving Christian, His eyes are not only upon the nations but upon you and even the very number of the hairs of your head; the grand as well as the detail.
You are living a gift. A portion of time has been allotted to you and your Maker watches to see what you will make of it. As we enter this busy holiday season may I remind and encourage you to not lose sight of that which is truly important. An orderly home, kind words as well as kind looks are a gift to your family and an act of worship to your God. How we live is integrally tied into the importance of why we live.
Live well, my friend. God has given you the tools to make a beautiful masterpiece of your life. Carve a statue out of the rubble about you and offer it a sacrifice to your ever present, ever loving, ever kind and patient heavenly Father.
I continue with our essay from a study in the book of Ephesians, As Becometh Saints… (Part One and Part Two)
7. The Christian Attitude
As Paul’s gratitude for the believers spills out into the text, we see the example of gratitude that should prevail in our hearts and consequently in our actions.
As we continue through the text, our hearts rejoice that we no longer walk as we once did. Trespasses of the past are in the past. Our eyes and hearts are looking forward to the changes that God is making in us. The Great Creator is creating again. (Ephesians 2:1) We are created unto goods works. Not just big works, but all little and “unnoticed” works and in all areas of our lives. In eternity we will be an example to the heavens of God’s exceeding and marvelous grace. It is this grace that secures our eternity and it is this same grace that is to be filtered through our lives to the lives of others. Mercy has been abundantly dispensed to you. It must find its way out of your life into the lives of those He has placed around you. (2:4-10)
Our paths have been changed; our steps now follow a new path. Our eyes have been opened to the Truth and we are no longer enslaved by our old habits of thought or action. Greed no longer rules. Love has taken its place. (4:17-19)
If we know Him, and have been taught His ways, we surrender our wills to Him and “put off” that which is unseemly and unprofitable. Our minds are made new in Him! Righteousness and holiness reign! And because these new characteristics reign in our lives there are some outward changes to our character that begin to transform how we deal with others: No more lying; anger is dealt with speedily; a vigilance for the footsteps of satan burns brightly within; our lives become productive as opposed to busy; our eyes see other’s needs and we long to be the vessel chosen; new guards have been assigned to the door of our lips, there is a New Owner present and He desires higher service of our lips than the previous owner; old sin patterns of bitterness, wrath, and the like don’t feel at home anymore…their new address is 123 Past Lane. (4:20-25)
As God has done all to meet the needs of fallen man, our course of conduct shall be to graciously attend to the needs of our fellow man. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (2:13) Christian, we are “fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God” (2:19), how then shall we act? Whose name are you representing when your manners are far below what they should be? Your Father will not disown you, but are you grieving Him by your sloppiness or rudeness? (4:30) We ARE the Holy Temple of God! Rough, unpolished stones will not do! (2:20-22)
We are to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” Think on this vocation, then think on the path wherein you walk. Where we walk, how we walk, and with whom we walk, all becomes very important because of Who has called us to walk. (4:1-2) We find the ultimate example verse as we look to Christ to answer the “why” question of what we do: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Remembering the Who of our faith causes the “why” to be answered and willingly obeyed.
8. Christian Dress Standard
In chapter 6: 10-20, we see how important it is to dress appropriately. “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Our fight is not one of the flesh only, but of the spirit and spirits. Truth, righteousness, knowledge of the Word, peace and faith are our weapons. Faith is “above all”. The just shall live by it; the lame will be healed by it; the blind will see by it; it gives us the vision of the unseen reality; it strengthens our hearts and minds; and without it you cannot please God. And without the Author of our faith, we can do nothing.
Clad in this armor we are prepared as soldiers to meet the foe out in the world or within our own mind. Our internal “clothing” will help us in our spiritual battles. Also important is our outward clothing. Our choice of clothes shows what “team” we are on. We must be careful to dress appropriately for our vocation.
It is well known and proven that people make quick judgments about each other when they first meet. According to Lynda Goldman in How to Make a Million Dollar First Impression, people perceive each other based on the following criteria: 55% is visual; 38% is for our voices; 7% is for what we say. You may respond by saying, “That’s not fair. People should get to know the real me.” It may not be fair, but it’s the way the world works. And, I might add, this is the way it is in both the secular and the Christian world. Even God says that while He looketh on the heart, man has no other option but to look on the outward appearance.
The image we present to others is made up of five things: the clothes we wear, our body language, our facial expressions, our posture, and our gestures. These are all silently speaking for us.
According to this same secular book, “Well-designed clothes draw people’s eyes to your face. This encourages eye-to-eye contact. Clothing that doesn’t suit you will be distracting to others.” Also, I quote again, “Did you know that there is no such thing as neutral clothing? Everything you wear shows a decision you made. Your clothing is a non-verbal statement about who you are and what you do.” (Goldman, Million Dollar First Impression) Funny how the secular world knows and accepts these truths, but some in the Christian community deny that they even exist. I believe it is a case of being “willingly ignorant”.
As a Christian, all our decisions and choices should be passed through the filter of God’s Word to determine what is right for us. I do believe we should endeavor to decorate the exterior of our body house simply, and the interior lavishly. Dress simply but tastefully. Thomas Jefferson once said, “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” Noah Webster said, “True taste demands great simplicity of dress. A well-made person is one of the most beautiful of all God’s works, and a simple, neat dress displays this person to the best advantage.”
As seasons of life change, Elizabeth happily remains desperately dependent upon her God. Three of her four children have now branched off to begin their own families. She is a homeschooling veteran and a faithful wife for over 30 years.
Read Elizabeth’s salvation testimony here and her articles here.