Living Out Our Holiness

Leviticus 20:26   (NLT)   You must be holy because I, the Lord , am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.

God wants us restored to the highest quality of being and existence. He is a holy God Who wants us to be holy. Holiness is a good thing; it isn’t a cage constricting us from doing things we like doing; it does however restrict us from doing things that enslave us. Leviticus 20.26 - Living Out Our HolinessHe created us in His image; that image was marred by sin. But now as believers, He has again made us holy and he wants us to live in and live out that holiness.

God has called us unto himself—a peculiar people, a holy nation, a people belonging to Him—different and separate from the world. We have very different standards from the world; we have different ways of thinking; different perspective; different worldview, different ways of doing things. It is not our aim to be like the world; our aim is to be increasingly more like our Lord—in perfect holiness and righteousness.

So, we don’t pursue what the world pursues; we don’t desire what the world desires. It isn’t our pursuit to have flashy, luxurious, expensive cars like the world does. We don’t pursue humongous houses like the world does; we don’t pursue fame and fortune, accolades and applause like the world does. I’m not implying that luxury, fame, and fortune are innately evil. But they are not where our hearts are. Our hearts and minds are set on the prize of the high and upward calling of our God in Christ Jesus. We don’t share the world’s ungodly value system; we are unique; we live in God. We don’t make up rules to fit our wishes and whims; if everyone does that, the world will be in total chaos. We have an authoritative moral compass—His Word.

We don’t sacrifice our values at the altar of the majority, peer pressure, or political correctness. For us, murder is wrong, whether they be adults or babies—in the mother’s room or outside of the mother’s womb. For us, having sexual acts with a person not your spouse is immoral. We love it that we, our spouses, and our children don’t go around hopping from bed to bed with just anybody we or they like. We are called to keep our marriage bed undefiled and pure for the person we love—the person we have vowed and dedicated our lives to—for a lifetime. We operate in love, not lust, not greed. For us, giving is more blessed then getting. We love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for those who persecute us. We don’t take revenge, but we trust in our God and His justice.

We are God’s people. We belong to him. There only two choices: Him or anything else—to be holy like Him, and to be unholy like the world. We choose Him.

 

Advertisements

Fear Not! Speak Out!

Acts 18:9   (NLT)   One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision and told him, “Don’t be afraid! Speak out! Don’t be silent!

The Lord wants His people to be fearless; He wants us to be bold. He has commissioned us to proclaim the glorious message of salvation to the entire world. He does not want us to be intimidated into silence. The message is too important not to share. The need is too big not to be answered. God loves us so much and cares for us so much to leave us in the path of destruction and sure damnation.

There are reasons for fear: persecutions are real; threats are real—they can even be life threatening. But none of these have evaded God’s attention. Our loving heavenly Father is fully aware of all the challenges before us. He is fully aware that our journey as believers won’t be a walk in the park. That’s why He has provided everything to effectively accomplish our mission.

First, He changed us from the inside. He has given us the experience of what he wants us to share. He does not want us to preach the Good News of Salvation hypocritically; He wants us to live what we preach.  We are to preach salvation so He saved us first. Then He gave us His Spirit—not spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and sound mind. Those unseen changes radiates to the seen. We shine with the light of God through the fruit of good works, giving credence to the message we share, demonstrating God’s glory to others.

God empowers us to the detail—from the spiritual to the physical, from the invisible to the visible. He gave us his blood and His Spirit. He gave us His light. He has prepared divine connections—people who will be instrumental for us to faithfully, fearlessly and boldly proclaim the Gospel. His provision will come from many different angles, many different faces, many different places, even from very unexpected sources. They will come in different forms, people with different personalities, different status in society, of varying levels of maturity.

If needed, our precious Lord Jesus won’t have any problem appearing personally to strengthen us, to embolden us, to encourage and to comfort us. Now, we go without fear; that’s why we won’t be silenced; that’s why more people are saved.

 

Worship the Creator

Acts 7:50   (NLT)   Didn’t my hands make both heaven and earth?’

The fact that the one true living God was the One Who created both the heavens and the earth is enough reason for us to not worship any other god or being but Him.

Acts 7.50 - Worship the CreatorOf course, others question the validity of this truth. They don’t believe God created creation. They somehow have a hard time accepting this. But there shouldn’t be any problem believing God can create. The fact that the universe is so big is not a proof that no person or being could be responsible for its beginning; it is proof that God who created this magnificent, immeasurable universe is way more powerful and bigger than we imagine.

There is no reason for us to worship anything or anyone else other than the One really worthy of worship. That’s no other than the one true living God. Any other entities pulling us to give them a greater place or a higher priority in our hearts and lives than God himself ought to be resisted with all wisdom and might. They’re trying to deceive us and cause us to place our attention on something so little—to settle with something infinitely smaller. God longingly wants us to set our minds and hearts on Him, to have our lives dedicated to the best of the best: the best cause, the best reason for existence, the best Being Who exists. He wants us to live the best way we can: from the best source, through the best means/sustainer, for the best purpose. Oh, that gives us so much worth and significance.

We thank you Father for being real. We thank you for leaving us with more than sufficient convincing proofs of your existence and greatness. You’re an indescribably powerful and wise God. And you choose to care for us so much, to love us with a consistent, continuous, persevering, and endless love that we won’t find from anyone else. We thank you for giving us a very gracious invitation and welcome to You and into your very presence—the presence of our great and Almighty, All-wise Creator.

Righteousness—the Person, the Action

1 John 3:7 (KJV) Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

It is to be deceived to believe that those who commit unrighteousness are righteous.

I was almost avoiding this passage. Somehow, I’m affected by books and messages discouraging a call to holiness and righteousness. Those who do are seen as legalistic, or 1 John 3.17 - Righteousness - The Person, the Actionpeople who don’t understand God’s love and grace. They are seen as judgmental, condemnatory, and they preach salvation by works.

I know those labels aren’t true with me. I understand that we’re saved by grace through faithliving faith that is. I understand God’s unconditional love and abundant grace. I caught myself doing something I ought not to: avoiding certain passages. That was wrong.

So, I settled. How can I escape this divine billboard projected so emphatically right before me—repeatedly, in different ways, just from one book alone? Here’s a sampling of what I mean:

1 John 2:1,5-6,29 (KJV) 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1 John 3:3,10,24 (KJV) 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:3 (KJV) 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

There’s a lot more where they came from.

If God’s Word doesn’t withdraw from urging us to life of love, obedience, holiness, purity, righteousness; it’s only right we also don’t.

‘nough said.

 

 

 

Faith—All the Way

Hebrews 10:38   (KJV)   38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10.38 - Faith - All the WayOur greatest pleasure is pleasing God. Praise God for faith with which we please Him. As people who are forgiven, our lives are characterized by faith; that’s our lifestyle. We understand that drawing back from the faith—falling from grace displeases Him. That’s the last thing we want to find ourselves in.

There are reasons others draw back. There’s the allure of sexual pleasures; there’s the pull of power; there’s the enticements of material accumulations. Some pursue riches and are shipwrecked. Some can’t stand the scorches of hardships unique to believers.

We persevere. Nothing compares to the glorious life of faith. It brings inexplicable miraculous exploits only God-empowered people experience; it also causes a lot of sufferings. Through all, we’ve learned to be content and to rejoice. Who can equal to such a life?

 

Diligence and Assurance

Hebrews 6:11   (KJV)   11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

Diligence plays a huge part in fully assuring our hope. This is specifically referring to work and labour of love for our spiritual family.

Hebrews 6.11 - Diligence and AssuranceThere may be times when we don’t really feel like loving. We want to be on the receiving end. Others have times of laziness. But our days are exciting exactly because we don’t allow our moods and circumstances to dictate how our days go.

In the process, we keep on growing; we keep on progressing in our Christian journey; we keep becoming more productive as God’s people; more people are blessed through us. We contribute in the Kingdom purposes and mission.

We believe in the supernatural, in the eternal, in the spiritual. We believe in heaven; we believe in God; we believe the return of our Lord Jesus. This results in us living full lives—lives truly blessed—recipients of, and channels of. Through us, more people are helped living out their fullness as well.

Today, We Prepare

Hebrews 3:13   (KJV)   13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

One glorious day, we will be meeting our long-awaited beloved Lord, beholding Him with our very eyes, to spend time with Him and with our God for eternity. That will be one day, and we pray, one day soon. Today, we prepare.

exhortPart of our proper preparation is urgently exhorting and warning each other daily to be passionate about our God and His Word; to be watchful and vigilant against the insidious tactics and hideous attacks of our enemy.

God has powerfully set us free; we live in freedom. We don’t unwisely subject ourselves again to the cruel sin overlord. In freedom; we’re repeatedly commanded to be careful, to guard our hearts, to make sure our hearts don’t get hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and cause us to turn away from God.

We aim to be faithful to our Lord, to fight the good fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith, to trust Him as firmly as when we did at first—even more. We don’t make light of the admonition for us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to strive with the power of God’s Spirit that’s continually working in us to will and do what pleases Him. These we restfully do—in freedom, in His grace.