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.

 

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Close and Clean

James 4:8   (KJV)   8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Our Lord’s gracious invitation is always extended to us. The Father tenderly draws us through His gentle Spirit, and we willingly and gratefully come. As we do, we’re wonderfully transformed into His image; we’re changed from glory to glory. Changes james-4-8-close-and-cleanhappen; we walk the straight paths of righteousness, holiness and purity. We delight in clean living—in and out. Our minds and hearts are set: we choose God over the world, over others, over ourselves, over anyone or anything else.

He is our continuous pursuit. We want to know Him ever-increasingly more. We want to be as close to Him as possible. The closer we are to Him, the clearer we see Him, the more we know Him, the more we become like Him. Our faith-our dependence on Him, our relationship with the Lord is proven genuine even through the hardest of tests, trials, and situations. It’s not a cheap claim and confession; instead, it’s clearly evidenced in our lives.

All for God, and God for all—totally and absolutely—all in, all out, all the way. The cross before us, the world behind us, though none go with us, we are committed: we follow Jesus, ever closer. Our eyes are set on Him; our path is clear. Nothing can stop us. We’re going all the way—to the upward call of our Lord. Suffer, we may; it will be way more than worth it all. Surrender to Him, we do. We walk without the unneeded weights of our sin baggage. Jesus is seen increasingly more in us; we look for and see God’s image in others. We treat everyone with love and respect. That’s why we don’t discriminate; that’s why our lives are testaments of God’s blessing; our lips are fountains of sweet blessings as well. Our minds, our hearts, our works—all them are aligned toward one end: the glory of our beloved God and Savior.

Incredible Image

luke-20-24-incredible-imageLuke 20:24   (KJV)   24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.

This is the passage preceding the Lord Jesus’ often quoted response: “25…Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” It’s interesting how He added a statement in His answer—one that doesn’t address the question, but it was very telling. But first, notice where He took His audience’s attention to: the image and superscription on the coin.

The penny bearing the image and inscription of Caesar belonged to Caesar and was given to Caesar. We bear God’s image. We were created in God’s image. Among the faithful, this is universally known; this is usually the emphasis in quoting this particular Scripture. And that’s an extremely awesome truth in itself. Warped and distorted visage as it may be because of sin, but being transformed and renewed day by day from glory to glory. That’s our predestination: the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Image and inscription—we know the image, what about the inscription. This is often a title. So, what’s ours as God’s children? Here’s just a few: chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, God’s special possession, redeemed, sanctified, justified, saved, holy, blood-bought, beloved, blessed, family of God, light of the world, salt of the earth, disciples, bond-servant, saints, faithful, bride of Christ…We get the point. More than our clothes, our shoes, our hairstyle, our make up, our degrees, medals, and trophies, we possess the most incredible image and most awesome descriptions and titles man can have.

As the coin bearing the image and inscription of Caesar was given back to Caesar, we who bear God’s image and inscription ought to give ourselves and all our wonderful titles, blessings, and benefits to Him as well. We offer God all of who we are and all of what we are, and yes, all we have.