Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Holiness...It's a Beautiful Thing
I was writing an article about what Holy Living in an Unholy World looks like.
It made me think of God's instruction that we "BE HOLY"...not a suggestion, an order...BE!
Years ago my husband Richard and I taught a class on the book of Leviticus. At first I thought I would rather have a root canal than study this overwhelming book. Then, as we studied, I realized I loved this book. Jesus was on every page. Holy Living is not a call to the rules and regulations that bind but a call to live a life set apart to live out our freedom in Christ.
The late Pastor and teacher Ray Stedman has this to say about a particular passage in Leviticus:
You shall be holy to me; for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine. (Lev. 20:26)
Ray Stedman writes;
"Perhaps you were turned off right away by the word "holy" in this passage. I don't know what you think "holy" means, but you probably read into it things from your past experience which make it unpalatable to you. Most of us associate it with some kind of grimness. We think "holy" people are those who look as if they have been steeped in vinegar or soaked in embalming fluid. I used to think of the word that way, and holiness was not attractive to me at all. It repelled me. But I ran across a verse in Scripture which spoke of "the beauty of holiness," Psalm 29:2 (King James Version)
2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. I asked myself, "What in the world is beautiful about holiness?" When I found out, I had to agree that holiness is indeed a beautiful thing."
Because we are His, he wants us to live a life that is "WHOLE",or,holy. He can take our brokenness, our mistakes, our hurts and disappointments and make us new. If you've ever thought, 'Who am I to be holy?', remember: Through Jesus Christ, God sees us as Holy.
God's command to His people to "BE HOLY"(although challenging)is a beautiful thing!
I'll pass on the root canal and see how to be "Set Apart" for service- Holy-Whole!