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

Unshakable Kingdom

34302331-1468272210922_640x640

Heaven and earth will pass away; everything that can be shaken will be shaken, but the Kingdom of God will remain. We’ve received and will continue receiving from our precious Lord gifts and blessings that really matter. We are deeply grateful to Him and we continue to live a life of worship, a life that honors and pleases Him. This is our highest expression of praise and thanksgiving, our most appropriate response to an unconditionally loving and all-powerful God and Father, and our surest step  in preparing for and welcoming His unshakable Kingdom.

We’re surrounded by so many faithful forebearers who lived with their sights focused on our heavenly home. We do that. We prefer a home not made by human hands; we choose treasures that won’t get rusted, corrupted, or stolen. We don’t stagnate, give up, or turn back; instead, we press on towards God’s high calling–an eternal existence with our beloved God and Father.

We let go of anything and everything that may get us sidetracked, weighted down, sidelined, or disqualified. We set our eyes in the King of the Kingdom. He has shown us how. Despite pain, suffering, and shame, He completed His mission; we will too. If we need to be disciplined, constricted, corrected, we’re willing–anything for God. We’ve received the best; why trade for less?

The Golden Guide

Matthew 7:12  (KJV)   12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Many of us are aware that there are Ten Commandments. I’ve read that there are actually 613 commands in the Old Testament. That sounds quite right although I haven’t really counted them myself. The Lord summarized them into two: loving God and loving our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). How? The Lord summarized all possible love actions into this one rule. What an awesome guideline. No wonder it’s called “The Golden Rule.”

God delights in blessing His children. And He does, whether we deserve it or not. God is just naturally gracious. But He also delights in blessing us when we’re obedient. So, He gave His people all necessary instructions – detailed instructions. But, some well meaning people who wanted to make sure that every dot and tittle are obeyed added so many peripheral commands. What they intended for good turned out to be really bad; it weighted people down and caused alot of hypocritical, external obedience to the letter of the Law and missed the true spirit of the Law.

Jesus brought us back to the true essence of all His commands – minus men’s additional commentaries: love. And just in case people see love as a description of an emotional response and not action, He left us with a precise description of what we ought to do to live out love: the Golden Rule. Of course, we can be passive and avoid deliberately hurting others. That’s why we’ve heard of a seemingly similar saying: “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do to you.” The drawback on this is to feed on people’s self-centered attitude in life and feel satisfaction in the fact that they’re not doing anything evil to others. True. Except that it also leads to not doing anything good to others.

Dear God of love and blessings, thank You for giving us clear direction as to how we can live the most wonderful life we can live – a life of love, obedience, and blessing. Please help us to do to others the good and beautiful things we desire for ourselves. We know that there are those who won’t necessarily reciprocate our godly actions, but it doesn’t matter; our blessings flow from You. I admit, there are times when we are very comfortable living in our own small personal world without thinking of others. We become just preoccupied with our own personal interests and affairs. Many of our present technological applications tend to increasingly promote self-centeredness and self-aggrandizement. We feed on our already bloated egos and feel really satisfied and happy with it. Everyone’s doing it so, well, I guess we’re “trending.” How sad.

We’ve become so comfortable with attitudes and habits that are diametrically opposed to Your admonitions. We’re not hurting others; it’s fun; people are happy – that’s why we get tricked and don’t see the dangers of slowly having our minds programmed to be focused on ourselves. Not only have we gotten comfortable of not being natural and deliberate in pursuing what’s good for You and for others, sadder still: we have become blind to You and the good people who are doing alot of good and wonderful things for us. We just enjoy receiving from them, and have grown calloused to the the Spirit’s promptings for us to reciprocate their display of love, care, and concern. We’ve become heartless and we don’t even know it. Of course, we easily find satisfaction and justification in the fact that we love people. Yes, selected people we are drawn to. But really?

Father, please forgive us. Awaken us to truly desire and deliberately be Your holy nation – a people belonging to You, separate from the world – it’s system and it’s “whitewashed” practices.