The story of Cinderella always was my favorite fairy tale. The rags-to-riches, wrong-to-right, happily-ever-after story never grew old.
And that ball gown! How the illustrators of the various editions must have enjoyed creating the glory and splendor of that dress!
Rarely, if ever, are we common damsels provided opportunity to wear such grand finery. And I doubt many guys out there in the blogosphere have donned gold-braided jackets spangled with brightly colored medals. Such ostentation is almost exclusively reserved for royalty.
Ah! But whether we’re CEOs of the home front (stay-at-home parents) or CEOs of corporations, plumbers or painters, teachers or taxi drivers, we are priests of the Lord King of the universe. And that designation makes us a royal priesthood:
(“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people belonging to God,
that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light.”
–1 Peter 2:9)
Because we are his royal priesthood, God has provided a glorious new wardrobe for each of us, including:
- Rich garments of salvation, replacing the sin-stained rags of our self-centeredness (1).
- A robe of righteousness, radiant with the perfections of Jesus (2).
- A belt of truth, studded with gems from God’s Word that inspire, instruct, encourage, and comfort (3).
- Garments of praise, because he continually manifests his glorious attributes and showers us with blessings (4).
- Ornaments of strength and joy (5).
- A crown of beauty, as we allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds and turn our thoughts to the positive (6).
- Beautiful shoes of peace, equipping us to tread gently and share the peace of Jesus with others (7).
Note: None of this is earned, like the medals on Prince Charming’s uniform. Every radiant item has been magnanimously bestowed by our King.
Why would that be, we wonder. Is his purpose simply to display his generosity?
Surely that’s part of the answer. But the last half of 1 Peter 2:9 (above) reveals more: Now that we’re dressed in his garments of radiant splendor, we are commissioned to proclaim his excellency everywhere we go.
Sometimes we proclaim with words (Mark 16:15), as simple as “God is so good,” while sharing a story with a coworker.
Sometimes we proclaim with loving action (John 13:34-35), serving as a channel of blessing between God and others. That extra-generous tip to a waitress, for example, may pay eternal dividends especially if she saw us praying before we ate, and we engaged her in friendly, upbeat conversation (about her).
Sometimes we proclaim with our attitudes—simply reflecting the radiance of Jesus’ peace and joy on our faces (2 Corinthians 3:18)—especially in difficult circumstances. Someone may very well ask, “I don’t know how you do it,” giving you opportunity to proclaim God’s excellencies and the blessings of living in his wonderful light—just as that verse in First Peter suggests.
If our new wardrobe is on full display, people will notice.
“Let us put on the vestments of holiness
and minister before the Lord all day long.”
- Zechariah 3:4; Isaiah 61:10
- Isaiah 61:10
- Ephesians 6:14; 2 Timothy 3:16
- Isaiah 61:3
- Isaiah 49:18
- Isaiah 61:3; Romans 8:5; Philippians 4:8
- Isaiah 52:7; Ephesians 6:15; John 14:27