Wednesday, February 16, 2022

            The Bible describes God’s attributes to us.  It is impossible for humans like us to understand everything about God.  After all, God is God.  He is beyond our total or full discernment and comprehension.  But the Bible does teach us everything about God that we need to know to love and relate to Him.  One of His attributes is holiness.  To say God is holy is to say that He is utterly distinct and separate from humanity and the creation.  God is not something we dreamed up or made ourselves.  He is not someone who has evolved from the creation.  God is not bound by the normal conventions of time and space.  Again, God is God.
            God does tell us in Leviticus 20:7 that we are to be holy because He is holy.  God calls us to be strikingly different from all that is around us.  We are to be set apart for Him and His service.  We are to prevail in the battles we have with sin.  To be holy means we set God apart in our hearts.  He occupies the throne.  We allow God to do His work in us and through us.  God is at work today to bring the gospel to the far corners of the earth, to villages, cities, countries and continents.  That mission moves forward as God’s people open their lives to Him and embrace Him.
            One way that we keep holiness in mind is by remembering all that God has done for us and given to us.  In the Law, God reminded Moses to tell the people about the importance of remembering His blessings and provisions.  We read, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”  Part of being holy is having a good memory.  When we remember what God has provided to us, we are much more inclined to seek Him and to serve Him.
            If we are seeking to be holy, we will think of the Lord.  Our minds will rest on and in Him.  And we also recognize that to be holy is a call to be like Jesus.  He is our standard for how to be a spouse, a child, a parent, an employee, a friend and a human.  Jesus was not misled by the pull of culture or the conventions that surrounded Him.  He saw the way of the Father and faithfully pursued that way.  It is the way that we are to pursue as well.
            To be holy means we take at least four actions.  One, we remember the Lord.  We remember His gifts and His ways. Two, we live distinctly and refuse to allow ourselves to get drawn into battles or conundrums that have little if any value.  Third, we set apart Christ as Lord.  He is Lord of who we are past, present and future.  He is the one who paid the price for our past sins.  He shows us how to live in the present.  He is our hope for the future.  And fourth, we remember that we are His.  No human institution or organization is our final authority.  It is God alone.  We look to Him and live for Him.
            It is often said that character is what we are when no one else is looking.  And it is in character that holiness usually finds its most important foothold.  Today, ask the Lord to grant you courage to be His man or woman at the deepest levels of your life.  Lip-service faith is cheap at best and rarely life-changing.  Lip service does not touch the character of your life.  But holiness can and does.  At the center of character, we choose to be the Lord’s servant and ambassador—now and always.  Seek to be holy today and make this Wednesday a good one!
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