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Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Garment of Salvation (Artist not known)

"The Garments Of Salvation"

Message summary:  God made and God clothed.

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"The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21). "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 righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10). "And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger" (Luke 2:7).

Stephen & Brooksyne at Longwood GardensWhat type of garments distinguish you? Of course the answer will vary depending on where you live, your customs, tastes, the climate and so forth. Here in Lancaster County we have various sects of old-order groups that can be distinguished by their clothing. It would be interesting to have a group photo of Daily Encouragement readers from all around the world and note the wide variety of colors, clothing, and still the basic similarity!

I (Stephen) regularly wear three articles of clothing that distinguishes me; suspenders and when it's colder, a vest and hat. Brooksyne is a little less predictable but her wardrobe often includes a colorful vest or scarf. This photo on the right was taken last month at Longwood Gardens. One thing you can be sure of; you won't ever see us wearing fig leaves!

The very first immediate consequence of the fall was that Adam and Eve became aware of their own nakedness and need for a covering. The Bible describes their pre-fallen condition as "naked and not ashamed".

Mollie with hat (Photo by Ester)An easily observable condition to this day, regardless of where we live or our ethnic background, is the natural and unashamed nakedness in the animal kingdom. Our three pets, two dogs and a cat, run around all day without a stitch of clothing and think nothing of it, nor do we. However, Ester likes to place hats on the dogs for Christmas though they really don't like it! But she does this every Christmas, for her "photo session" with them.

If animals are clothed it's due to a novelty for humans such as putting sweaters on dogs or perhaps an assumption that they need additional warmth in severe climates. Even the "higher" animals, those that evolutionists claim are "more related" to us, do not clothe themselves. The need to clothe and the ability to do so is distinctively human and goes back to a consequence of the fall.

At the very moment of Adam's transgression (interestingly not Eve's) their eyes were "opened, and they realized they were naked" (Genesis 3:7). They crudely sewed fig leaves together to make coverings and sought to hide from God. But God initiated the very first search and rescue mission. The first question God asked fallen Adam was, "Where are you?". Of course God knew where they were and why they were hiding!

He proceeded to pronounce judgment for their disobedience. But God also acted redemptively in serving as the first custom tailor. Consider the provision in the daily text: "The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them" (Genesis 3:21).

Garments of skinWhere did the "garments of skin" come from? Up to this point there had been no death in the Garden. Surely an animal or animals were slain to provide these skins. Blood was shed.  Perhaps it was a lamb, though it is not specified.

Did you notice the two verbs so rich in meaning in
Genesis 3:21: God "made" and God "clothed". There's another wonderful covering God provides for all mankind mentioned in Isaiah 61:10. Isaiah proclaimed and so can we today, "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 righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10).

We fast forward to the birth of Jesus Christ when Almighty God became the supreme expression of Deity to all humankind: "And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger." Charles Wesley, in his first published hymn text, "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" reveals God's greatest Gift to the world in the following words:

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see,
Hail the Incarnate Deity.
Pleased as man with men to dwell,
Jesus our Immanuel.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, my soul rejoices in the wondrous Gift of Your Son, Jesus, who descended from the sinless atmosphere of heaven and clothed Himself in the garment of humankind. Prior to this marvelous undertaking You spoke to us through the prophets who revealed only a partial and preparatory revelation of the Triune God. But the perfect revelation of who You are is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ which is made visible and understandable in human terms. For the Son is the radiance of Your glory and the exact representation of Your Being. As we have come to know Jesus, the Son of man, we also know You, Father, because Your character and power are revealed in the life and works of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for mercifully adopting us as Your children and clothing us in robes of righteousness, for without this clothing, we cannot enter heaven. Amen.

Brooksyne's Note: Many references from Scripture come to mind regarding the clothing that is not an outward adornment bringing glory to oneself. Rather I'm thinking of the clothing that dresses the inner self where the character of Christ is revealed to others as we converse and mingle with others throughout the day. Consider I Peter 3:1-6 where Paul speaks to wives regarding their inner dress. In Colossians 3:1-12 Paul tells believers to clothe themselves with humility, compassion, kindness, etc. Ephesians 6:10-17 reminds us of the ensuing battle of the enemy and the only way we will be victorious is by clothing ourselves in spiritual armor.

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Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne
On Sunday evening I had the pleasure of attending the One A-Chord Choir Concert at Mount Joy Mennonite Church, only a mile from our home. This choir is comprised of believers who unite in song on the National Day of Prayer which is how the choir came into existence several years ago. The singers come from all over the region representing about 50 different churches.

Dorothy Schmidt leading Calvary Homes women's group 12/3/18
On Monday, as Stephen was dealing with his stomach virus, I had a ladies day out with Ester and our dear friend, Anna Ruth Lapp. We went to Calvary Homes to "Women Connecting". Dorothy Schmidt (pictured at the podium) is another very dear friend who launched a Women's Ministry at Calvary Homes, where she is also a resident. It is very similar to Christian Women's Club in which she served as president in the Ocean City, NJ area for many years. In addition she recruited women to serve as officers in CWC, lead Bible Studies and form other CWC's. This was "Women Connecting"'s second program and it was a blessing to attend with about 80 other women, mostly residents of Calvary Homes.

Calvary Homes Christmas tree 12/3/18
Stephen was taken back by the bright lights on the Christmas tree that took center stage on the platform. His mouth was wide open as he took it all in as though he were exclaiming, "WOW!"

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Immanuel"  Video  Charles Billingsley

"Hark The Herald Angels Sing"  Video  Boyce Vocal Band  We are so blessed to see so many great recordings coming out of colleges with enthusiastic young people such as "Carol of the Bells" by The Voices of Lee  Video or "Behold Our God" by the CBU University Choir and Orchestra Video

Finally today:
White Horse thrift store parking 12/3/18
After Christian Women's Club Anna Ruth, Dorothy, Ester and I went shopping at Costco and then traveled to "Country Gift and Thrift" in White Horse; a fun thrift store where we find many bargains and the funds are raised for missions. As I looked out the window of the upper floor into the parking lot I noticed this "horse and buggy". It was a rather cold day so I hope the driver was dressed warm enough for the ride home!

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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