Holiness. I struggle with this everyday... do you too? It is far too easy to utter the words, "Jesus is my First Love," but oh how hard it is to actually live that out in the midst of the world we move in and out of everyday. I am utterly convinced, that we as Christians (parents as well as children) to live this life of holiness takes nothing less than His abundant sanctifying grace to equip us for such a thing (Titus 2:12). For in and of our own strength we will fall dramatically short.
As I thought about what to write concerning this weighty theme, I could only think of focusing our thoughts on God alone. Let's face it, to focus on ourselves is an exercise in futility. Like it was with Peter so it will be with us. When we take our eyes off of the Lord we sink into the depths of the turbulent sea below, gasping for air and struggling just to stay afloat. Left to ourselves to live the Christian life we end up drowning in our depravity, despair, and discouragement.
Is. 6:1-5 "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Because He is God, he has given us His grace instead of His wrath; His love instead of His enmity; His mercy instead of His justice; joy unspeakable in glory instead of torment in hell for perpetuity. Because He is God, I have no right to myself. Because He is God, I must walk in love, and love others, as Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. Because He is God, I must be willing to forgive as God in Christ has forgiven me. Because He is God, we love the brethren. Because He is God, I cannot harbor anger, wrath, clamor, bitterness, and malice in my heart toward another. Because He is God, I must turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and give someone my cloak if they want my coat too. Because He is God, I must be willing to suffer the loss of all things, to gain everything. Because He is God, I can rest in the surety that He is orchestrating all things for our good and His glory. Because He is God, I cannot repay evil for evil, wrong for wrong, hurt for hurt. Because He is God, we may rejoice when our hearts are breaking and our world has been shaken. Because He is God, our trials are blessings-invited guests and not strangers.
that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw
seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the
lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe
and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white,
like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire,
his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace,
and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth
came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like
the sun shining in full strength.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
But he laid his right hand on me, saying,
“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one.
I died, and behold I am alive forevermore,
and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
Because He is God, we keep our vows to our spouse even when he or she seems unlovable, unapproachable, unteachable, or uncaring. Because He is God, we train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Because He is God, we cannot take another to court and sue for reparations. Because He is God, we have the right to be wronged. Because He is God, we love His Word more than daily food. Because He is God, pastors should preach the Word of God instead of being clever raconteurs. Because He is God, the church must discipline sin and not wink at it. Because He is God, I cannot cherish my sin, but must daily repent of it. Because He is God, I've made a covenant with my eyes. Because He is God, I must guard my heart. Because He is God, I must not be motivated by mans applause, but by His "well done." Because He is God, we cannot become unequally yoked with an unbeliever in any spiritual ministry or enterprise. Because He is God, all our possessions are for the Master's use-they are not ours; they belong to Him. Because He is God, we must deny ourselves, daily take up our cross and follow Him.
Col. 1:15-20 He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created,
in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—
all things were created through him and for him.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things,
whether on earth or in heaven,
making peace by the blood of his cross.
To do all to His glory, according to His divine purpose, under the authority of His Word, to seek His will more than earthly reward, to embrace the fellowship of His sufferings rather than the pleasures of this world even for a season, to live self-sacrificially in unreciprocated love and service to others-to do all this for no other reason than… because He is God!