Galatians 3:27 “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (The New International Version)
This past weekend my husband and I traveled to our university’s away football game. We wore school colors on our hats, shirts and jackets. We even had our RV decked out. There was no doubt about our loyalty. We wondered how we would be received by the opposing team’s fans as we walked their streets. Except for one small group of 10 year old boys who obviously had no home-training, everyone was very gracious and welcomed us to their town.
As the game began, I noticed our team was very well represented. There were great concentrations of our school’s colors in very large sections and then sprinkles of color throughout the opposing side’s stands. I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be if all Christians wore the same colors. Then there would be no doubt about who to ask for help when traveling, who would be true to their word, who would put others first and who would go the extra mile. But it’s not always that easy. Even among our school’s fans there are different levels of loyalty. Some are alumni who have walked the streets, sweated over tests, enjoyed campus life and maybe even met their spouses there. They truly feel a part of the school. There are those fans who didn’t attend classes, but have been a part of pep rallies, tailgating and cheering for so long that they feel a part of the team. Then, there are those wannabe fans. They wear all of the garb, but just show up for an occasional game when the season is going well. These are fair weather fans.
If Galatians 3:27 says that we are to clothe ourselves with Christ then maybe Christians really do wear the same colors. If I am on Christ’s team, I need to be loyal to Him and Him alone. Every action and every thought needs to be under His complete control. He is my standard. I am His representative here on earth and I shouldn’t want to do anything that would make Him look bad. I want to walk the streets with Him, get sweaty serving Him, enjoy the millions of blessings He sends my way and be completely in love with Him. I don’t want to just wear His name when times are good. I want to be all in – especially in the tough times. It’s the challenges that make us stronger and cause us to grow. I want to wear a smile that praises Him on every sunny day and through every storm.
When I was a teenager, one of the boys in our youth group had a unique message written on the pages of his Bible. With the Bible closed, he had written the following letters with a marker all around the edges of the pages: P B P G I N F W M Y. I remember studying them for a while and could not for the life of me figure out what that could possibly mean, so I finally gave in and asked. He humbly smiled and said, “Please be patient. God is not finished with me yet.” So, whether you are an alumni of God’s family and are walking daily with Him, or you’ve only found yourself on the edges of the Christian life, or even if you are a fair weather Christian, God is not finished with you yet. We all can deepen the love we feel for Him by choosing to make Him a part of every day. It all begins with a desire to be clothed with Christ. The more we look like Him, the more we begin to recognize each other. I don’t know about you, but it inspires me to look around and see others who are on the same team. The opposing team will not win this game. The victory is ours!