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Isaiah 61:10 says, "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD...He has covered me with the robe of righteousness...."

In the city where I grew up, there was a community center that I was extremely thankful for as kid. From fall to spring, we spent a lot of time there. In the back of the community center there was a pond—it was a place where boys would be boys.

I remember one summer day when a buddy and I tried to make a raft. It was pretty shaky looking, and of course he wanted me to try it first. I ventured out, but it didn't go far before it sunk.

I sunk with it into the mud and scrambled out of that pond as fast as I could. I was covered from head to toe with mud. It was probably the dirtiest I've ever been.

When I think of this picture, I think, this is how I must have looked when I asked Jesus into my heart. I was covered from head to toe with sin, inappropriate lifestyles, attitudes, communication, and whatever else.

It was so difficult to believe He could accept me this way; yet I was told repeatedly by those that knew the Bible that He had.

Romans 5:8 says, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." I chose to believe it but it was a battle. It tested the little faith I had to believe God could love me this much and forgive me in this condition.

When people think of sin in their life, many think of God's judgment. "I am really making God mad, and He is going to cause something bad to happen to me to teach me a lesson!"

This kind of thinking is common, but it is not what God wants us to think. God does hate sin, but why does He? He hates sin because it perverts truth, thus making truth look boring and sin look exciting and fun.

He hates sin because it is the influence of Satan—the thief who steals our blessings and, in their place, brings deception and destruction. God hates sin because He hates the pain it causes His children. He hates it because of how Satan uses it to draw man away from Him.

God is Holy—there is no sin allowed in His Presence. Sin can have no place in Him or with Him. That is our struggle when we come to Christ. We still haven't learned to live for Him and without sin, so we find ourselves sinning.

Naturally we think, "Lord, how can you be so patient with me? Don't I just disgust you? Don't you want to give up on me?" Romans 5:10-11 responds to us saying, "For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by His life.

"So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God."

Romans 5:19-21 goes on to say, "Because one person—Adam—disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person Jesus—obeyed God, many people will be made right in God's sight. God's law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were.

"But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful kindness became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing—His righteousness with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

God had a plan. The plan was to cover our muddy, sinful lives up. God's righteousness covers us like a robe. Isaiah the prophet saw ahead to this gift Jesus would provide through His death and resurrection.

We read about it in Isaiah 61:10. "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

When I came to God so filthy and muddy, He gave me a gift—one I could never earn myself. It was this gift of righteousness—a robe to put on.

Do you know what it did? It covered the muddy mess I was.

He forgave me of my sins. That removed the muddy mess underneath the robe. When God looks upon us, He chose and chooses to see us wearing this robe—the robe which represents His righteousness, not our own.

Have you ever spilled on a new outfit, or carpeting, or the interior of your new car? You run quickly to clean it up. That is God's plan for us. 1 John 1:9-10 provides our instructions to clean up spills.

It says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and His Word has no place in our lives."

God doesn't want us to deny when we sin. That's like ignoring that we spilled. That will leave a mess.

God is not out to hammer us when we blow it. He, by His grace and His gift of righteousness, does all He can to help us transition our lives toward His ways. The housecleaning under the robe is a process.

The way He chooses to see us is His love. He keeps us covered with His robe of righteousness.

Satan will use sin to steal from your life. All sin hurts you and all sin touches others without exception. All sin works to deceive and draw us away from these wonderful truths of God's love.

Satan is a thief. His ways are sin. Sin is a thief. You lock your doors at night. Why not lock the door to sin in your life? Why not clean up any spills this very moment and ask God to help you turn from them. He will.

And as the prophet Isaiah says, "...greatly rejoice and be joyful in your God...for He has clothed you with the robe of His righteousness."

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All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Timothy Burt is a pastor, author, and writer. He is best known as the author of Fresh Manna, a daily devotional and online Bible study.

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