Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Week Fourteen - Fashion


“He fashioneth their hearts alike…”  Psalm 33:15

When God created Adam he created one heart.  From generation to generation right to this moment every heart is then made the same.  Skin colors might differ and facial features might have varieties, but healthy hearts are all still in the form in which they were created with only one alteration – they are now sinful. 

However, God did more than simply create our hearts.  They were fashioned by Him.  He gives them identity by forming the spirit of man within him.  This spirit, then, gives us our personality.  As God, he can look into our hearts and see our purposes and thoughts. 

It reminds me of the verse in Hebrews 4:12b & 13, “…a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”  Because He fashioned our hearts, he knows what is in them.  We, however, spend our lifetime trying to come to grips with the things that are in our hearts.  Just about the time we think we have a grasp on our inner battle, a new minion appears.  That confirms the fact that our hearts are desperately wicked.

How wonderful, then, that God can create a new heart within us. (Psalm 51:10)  And someday, our old hearts will be totally changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body. (Philippians 3:21)

Next time your heart starts spewing out its ugliness, remind it that it is God’s creation, fashioned by His hand, redeemed by His sacrifice and bound for an eternal upgrade.



“And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.”  Mark 2:12

“Well, I never!” was something the old timers used to say.  It was an expression of amazement.  This must have been one of those amazing moments.  Here was this crippled man who had been hoisted down by his friends after breaking through the roof in order to get him to Jesus.  Jesus’ words to the man were direct and few.  “Arise, and take up thy bed, and go…”  So he did.

The onlookers were amazed and in the Greek said, “Well, I never!”  It literally means they had never seen anything like this before.

I’ve had those moments, too.  God has moved right into my life and done some amazing things.  He has paid bills, given me cars, answered prayers I had long forgotten, and given me the desires of my heart.  He has saved souls, created opportunity for witness, brought testimonies of His greatness before me, and provided in miraculous ways for the ministry.

He isn’t limited.  He has no ceiling.  He is ever able to astound.  I think He likes to amaze and surprise.  When we are stopped in our tracks, and realize that God has just shown Himself, the result brings praise to His name and we will have to say, “Well, I never!”

Has God ever entered your life and amazed you?  Did you take time to give Him praise?  Why not take time to enjoy that moment again…and praise Him again?




“…for the fashion of this world passeth away.”  I Corinthians 7:31

 “For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.”  James 1:11

One has only to look at the magazine rack to see that fashion changes.  From one decade to another, fashion is an indicator.  Sadly, so many build their lives around fashion, and it isn’t limited to clothing. What they eat, what they say, where they go, and the music they listen to is all determined by what the world dictates.

Scripture is telling us here that the fashion of this world, the form or outward appearance, will fade away.  What is pleasing to the eye today will be not desirable tomorrow.  What is getting all of the attention today, will be forgotten in the future.  The rich man is used as an example.  He might be big and brash today, but he will fade away.

This truth needs to be taught to our children.  Allowing them to follow the fashion of the world is giving them a false sense of their place in this world.  If we are to raise Christian leaders, they must be able to discern between the fashion of the world and the image of Christ.

I am not promoting backwardness, but balance.  Teaching our children to value things eternal and real is more important than knowing all of the current pop culture.  Teaching them to value themselves as a child of God and to be striving to develop all God has placed within them is more important than conforming to the mold of the world.

My son used to wear a T-shirt that read, “Individualists of the world unite!”  It always made me laugh.  But being an individualist is something we all need to learn.  We are eternal and there are eternal consequences to the choices we make.  We need not allow the fashion of this world to dictate.  God’s Word is our guide.

How about you?  Are you overly concerned about “fitting in” with this world?  Are you afraid to cast off the world’s norm and be who God made you to be?  Are you an individualist – following God’s form, or a dedicated follower of this world’s fashion?



“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance…”  I Peter 1:14

There ought to be a difference in our lives after we come to Christ.  We should break out of the old mold or pattern and leave our rebellion behind.  Stubbornness, anger, vengeance, lust, envy, and, as the Bible say, the suchlike, should all be put away.  Our new life in Christ is designed differently. Obedience is the key to the Christian life and it requires a change.

Hanging onto the things of the old life will hinder our growth in Christ.  They will become chains about our necks.  Galatians 5:1 warns us, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Becoming entangled by the fashion of the old life puts us back into bondage.  That is not the purpose of Christ and the cross. He came to give us life and to give it more abundantly, to give us liberty, and free us from the things in our old life that kept us enslaved.  Trying to retain our old fashion, our old way of life, after we have come to Christ is to wander around in dirty clothing. 

Following the fashion of Christ brings us to his example: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  (Philippians 2:8)  His example is humility, obedience and a purity of life.

Sometimes we hear that old man calling us back to the old ways, back to the fashion of this world.  He tries to tell us that the way of Christ is too simple, or too hard, or out of touch, and truly all three are correct.  The way of Christ is simplicity, it is the narrow and rugged way, and it is not of the fashion of this world.  Praise His Name, because the fashion of this world leads to destruction.  Do not be deceived.  Change your wardrobe!



 “the fashion of his countenance…”  Luke 9:29

I’m going to take this verse greatly out on context.  It is talking about prayer making a change in the way we look.  I want to apply it this way – our private life is revealed by our outward appearance.  We can see this by examining two portions of Scripture. 

In Isaiah 3:16-26 we have a description of the daughters of Zion and in Psalm 45 we have a description of the daughter of the King.  Immediately we can see that God is comparing His daughter, with the daughters of the world.  Let’s make just a few comparisons from these verses based upon the fashion of these daughters.

The daughters of Zion walked about flamboyantly. This was revealed by their attire.  Verses 18-23 read: “…tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets , and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels,  The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails…”  These girls were dressed to kill!

The King’s daughter was also well attired. Verse 13 and 14 say, “…her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework…”  However, her fashion was well appointed, appropriate and measured.

The daughters of Zion made a spectacle by flauntingly parading themselves.  Verse 16 reads, “walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet…”  They wanted all eyes on them. 

The daughter of the King, however, was received with gladness and rejoicing according to verse 15.  Her testimony went before her.  No need for bells and whistles.

The attitude of the daughters of Zion is called haughty in verse 16, while the inward attitude of the daughter of the King is given this description – all glorious within.  

The end result is that the daughters of Zion are punished. (vs 17, 24-26, while the daughter of the King is held in great esteem by the king and has a name that is remembered and cherished among the people.

The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I would say that this look into Isaiah 3 and Psalm 45 reveal that by the demonstration of fashion, we reveal our true hearts. Our devotional life, our spiritual tastes, our personal care and our attitude can be read by our appearance and countenance.

If our countenance is to be changed, it must come from within.  The Bible is full of examples of people who changed when they came into contact with Christ – the Maniac of Gedera, Moses, Hannah, etc.  Honouring God, yielding to His Word, becoming more devoted to Him, all of these will draw us to a change of fashion and a change of countenance because we cannot be touched by God on the inside without it making a difference on the outside.

Is God making a change in your life?  Are you yielding, compliant and glorious within, or are you remaining stubbornly rebellious and haughty?  Are your choices in fashion a true reflection of your heart?  Maybe you need to have a good look in the mirror?

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