Happy Labor Day!! We have officially celebrated this holiday for 131 years. It all started back in the late 1800’s when the Labor Unions lobbied for us to have a day designated to honor the backbone of our nation, the working class.
I fall into that group of people if you’re wondering. I love Labor Day. If it were not for Labor Day, I wouldn’t get a long weekend break from May to November, unless Independence Day just happens to fall on a Friday or Monday. But there are other reasons I like this particular day.
I get to shop! There are big sales everywhere. Many retailers claim that it’s one of the largest sale days of the year, second only to Black Friday.
We also call it the unofficial “end of summer”. Many school districts are resuming classes. Fall sports are beginning. The weather may (or may not) be getting cooler.
This one used to confuse me: it marks the last day of the year it’s socially acceptable to wear white. I don’t think that’s a thing anymore but I can tell you I know absolutely nothing about fashion. My daughter would confirm that for you if you were to ask her.
But something I do know a little bit about is the Bible. And there is this one passage in Zechariah that talks about this guy name Joshua and he is standing before God in what looks like a trial. Joshua is being prosecuted and accused by Satan. His clothes are super dirty. As Satan begins to pick him apart, Jesus steps in and defends him. Jesus rebukes (reprimands, scolds) Satan. Jesus takes Joshua’s dirty clothes and gives him clean, white ones. Jesus told Joshua that he was cleansing him from all of his sins and dressing him in expensive clothes. Wait a minute, did he just say that clean clothes represent forgiveness of sin. I’m in big trouble. Just kidding!! But one thing that we have to remember is the white clothes of forgiveness are indeed expensive. It cost Jesus his life for us to be able to wear them.
There is also another verse, Isaiah 1:18, that says even though yours sins are bright red, Jesus can make them white as snow and wool.
I used to never like wearing white. So Labor Day really didn’t mark a profound change for my wardrobe. You see, I’m super clumsy. If there is anything to be spilt, squirted, sat in, or dripped, it’s bound to land on me. That being said, white was never a favorite color of mine until 2008. I learned that all my dirty sins could be washed away and I could be made pure, white as snow.
I liked the sound of that. I didn’t like feeling dirty, tainted. I didn’t like feeling ugly, unwanted, abandoned or rejected (some of the words Stephanie used last week that I identified with). And even though I know I am washed clean, those feelings still creep in sometimes.
It’s in those moments I have to rely on the truth of God’s word to calm my anxious heart. He said “Be still and know that I am God”. David said “Your Words have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” I think the sin David was referring to was doubt, or not trusting God. My biggest personal struggles happen when I begin to doubt my faith or when I begin to question God. It’s in those moments I fall back on the verses I have memorized.
I don’t always have my Bible with me. I can’t always pull my phone out and look something up. I can’t always call my pastor or mentor when a battle is raging in my mind in the moment. But when the words are memorized, I stand a chance.
It’s so important to read and memorize scripture. God’s words are your weapons in battle. We find out in Ephesians 6:17 that God’s word is the sword in our armor. His word is the only defensive part of the getup. All the other parts are for protection. The sword though, it’s for a change in direction. It’s for when you’re ready to move from offense to defense. It’s when you’re ready to stop running and start attacking. It’s for when you’re ready to storm the very gates of hell. The sword is for defending and protecting those you love from the grip of Satan. It’s for you to intercede on their behalf when they don’t have a sword of their own.
When Jesus was on earth He went through a time of fasting to prepare himself for ministry. In Matthew chapter 4 we see a battle taking place between Jesus and Satan towards the end of His fast. Satan tries to attack Jesus when He is extremely hungry and considerably weak. The battle was nothing more than words but make no mistake, it was a mighty battle. All of eternity hinged on it. Both sides used scripture. Satan used God’s own words to try to trick Jesus into sinning. You see if Satan could get Jesus to sin, then Jesus could never become a perfect sacrifice for all mankind, therefore ruining God’s plan to redeem us and save us. Satan lost the battle only because Jesus knew God’s word better than he did.
Choosing one verse to be my life verse is impossible for me. So many verses have ministered to me through the years. What I would like to do is take you through a journey of life verses on Friday. I am so excited for what this week has in store for you and me on this road to freedom and life.
Enjoy your long weekend, and I think it will still be okay to wear white tomorrow if you want to!!