Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Tuesday, April 3, 2012

~ Read Exodus 39-40

Lord God,

When I read about the clothing, your priests wore to minister in your sanctuary, a part of me marvels at the work that went into making them. The fabrics were rich; the colors were vibrant, and the detailed ornamentation demonstrates how important they were, and how beautiful they must have been. No expense was spared in the materials chosen; no corners were cut in construction. Only the most skilled craftsmen could do the work, because all of it, Lord, was done for your glory and honor.

The same was true for your tabernacle, Lord, because it too, was built for your glory and honor. Only the finest materials were used; and the most skilled craftsman did the work. It was a tribute to what you meant to your people. A demonstration of how important you were in their lives.

Of course, you know that I do the same thing in my life. You know how much put a lot of work into the "clothes" that I "wear." You recognize that I also take a great deal of care in choosing the right "materials," and selecting the right "colors." You understand that I put a lot of effort into the way every "garment" is made, and how each one "fits."

At the same time, you also know that's where the similarities stop. For you know, that unlike your people in Old Testaments times, who did it all this work for your glory, my actions are skewed by my selfishness and sin. My motives are filled with pride. The "clothes" I wear are really no clothes at all, but simply facade I create so no one else will see the real me.

The "garments' I wear," are not made of fine linens and things, but of the smiles I put on my face so no one will notice my insecurities and pain. The "clothing" I wear when I worship in your sanctuary, has no gold or jewelry, but is simply a cover of fake courage and confidence I exude, despite the uncertainty and fear in my heart. Lord, the things I "put on" are really no clothes at all, but simply an emotional mask and costume, I use to hide myself from others, and from you. And ultimately, that's the reason I spend so much time on them; because they're not about bringing you glory and honor, but about making me look good in the eyes of others.

Lord, how I wish that my motives were different. I wish that my heart were true. I wish that my thoughts were always your glory. I wish that my focus was you; but, I'm sinful, selfish, and broken inside. I'm hurt by my weaknesses and pride. I'm tired, confused, lonely, and faithless, but mostly, I'm afraid of being rejected by others, and by you.

I'm afraid if I tell everything that is in my heart, or confess all that is in my mind; you couldn't possibly continue to love me if you knew how awful and messed up, I truly am.

"But since my Savior stands between,
In garments dyed in blood,
'Tis he, instead of me, is seen,
When I approach to God." *

So help me, Lord God, to take off the costume, and rip off the mask from my face. Reveal the person that I truly am, forgiven and saved by your grace.

Through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior, and my God, I pray. Amen!

* Hymn 119, John Newton"Gadsby's Hymn Book,"