Friday, August 9, 2013

Take Time to be Holy

Take Time to be Holy
“For I am the Lord your God.  You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy…”  (Leviticus 11:44 NKJ)
          As I study the word of God I find that God calls me to live a life of holiness.  The Apostle Peter clearly points out in his first chapter “to be holy in all your (my) conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”  (1 Peter 1:15-16)
          This command from the Lord is a deep mystery to me and seems unattainable.  Questions of doubt arise in my mind.  What is holiness?  Where do I begin?  Does it come from observing certain prohibitions against such things as drinking, worldly attractions, or unholy lifestyles?  Does it come from avoiding sexual impurity?  Does it come from serving others?  Is it a by-product of our post-modern cultural revolution?  These and other questions persist in causing confusion of mind.
          Would it help to describe holiness if we explain what it is not?  Holiness is not being a goody-goody.  It is not adherence to a set of moral principles?  It is not living a lifestyle of sexual purity (although that is important).  It is not just moral integrity, even though God wants me to be honest and upright. 
          What is Biblical holiness?  Biblical holiness includes purity, morality, righteous living, but it is much more than that.  The most basic meaning of the words “be holy for I am holy” is “to be set apart unto God.”  It means dedication and consecration to our Creator God. 
          One of the promises given to Moses for the people of Israel is found in Leviticus 26:12, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people.”  There it is stated that a person who is holy belongs to God and has a unique relationship with Him.  This personal relationship certainly has moral ramifications, but it precedes moral behavior. 
          This relationship is made possible through the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ on the cross.  Jesus bridged the gap between God and man.  Paul says,
          “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…”  (Galatians 2:20a)  Elsewhere, Paul tells us that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), and we are “seated with Christ” (Eph. 2:6).
           Throughout the New Testament we are told that our union with Christ allows us to participate in the life of God our Father.  We dwell in Christ and Christ dwells in us; therefore we are holy because he is holy. 
          I love the old time hymn – Take Time to be Holy written by William D. Longstaff;
          Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
          Abide in Him always, and feed on His word.
          Make friends of God’s children; help those who are weak;
          Forgetting in nothing, His blessing to seek. 
Thought for the Day:  We worship a God of purity and holiness.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me be obedient to your command to live a life of purity and holiness.  

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