Being Holy

What is being holy all about? We are called to be holy. I have thought and thought about this thing of being holy for a very long time. I thought I didn’t have it, but I really wanted it.

God said, in the first verse of Leviticus 19, “Be holy, because I am holy!” He then goes on to tell us how to do that. I know Leviticus is not one of the modern Believer’s favorite books. It’s full of rules and customs and laws that are ancient, and, well we’re New Testament Believers, right?

I used a bit of sarcasm here because Jesus definitely had something to say about that. He said, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come—it isn’t to cancel the laws of Moses and the warnings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them and to make them all come  true.” Matthew 5:17NLV  

I hope you will take the time to read the whole chapter of Leviticus 19. It’s amazing!  (Just click on the blue letters and it will take you to Bible Gateway.) There are so many answers to our culture’s questions about what God says about so many issues. When God said, “Be holy, because I am holy”, He didn’t just leave it at that. He went on to explain in the next verses how to do that. I picked out 10 that stood out to me. I’ve paraphrased some of them for you:

1. Worship God ONLY

2. Keep the Sabbath. God does not say worship on the Sabbath. He says rest on the Sabbath. The expectation here is we can and should worship every day. But since we work every day we need to rest so we have the energy to do our jobs effectively. God knew that so He said, do it.

3. Give your offering sacrificially. Remember the woman with the 2 mites. It was all she had so she gave all she had.

4. Obey His commandments. Yes, all 10 of them!

5. Do not use His Name for anything but worship. This OMG stuff is completely unacceptable to Him. When I hear it or see it the Spirit within me cringes.

6. Care for the needy. That’s why we have the admonition to leave the edges of the fields unharvested. It’s a really creative way to give to the needy. Those who need it can harvest it.

7. Be just. Don’t skew the law because of race, color, creed, wealth, age… or just because you want it your way.

8. Be loving and treat all with respect. I discovered early on, in my teaching career, that respecting my students made a huge difference in what they learned.

9. Do not lie! Can we please go back to just saying what is true? Political correctness and tolerance for everything and anything are way out of control.

10 Avoid hate, violence, and sexual immorality.  We are living in a time where these sins are rampant. Stay away from all three!

So how do we ‘become’ holy? It really is a daily process. It doesn’t just happen when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us. There’s more to it. Holiness requires some thought and work. We are called, invited, and commanded to make holiness a part of our lives.

He created us in His image. He wants us to show the World who He is.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Best Rules For Life Since The 10 Commandments

I certainly can’t say it any better than Eugene Peterson in The Message. Read these words!  Memorize them!  Use them!  It matters!

And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can’t think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.

 But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.

 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

 Did you use to make ends meet by stealing? Well, no more! Get an honest job so that you can help others who can’t work.

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

I Love You But…

houseWhen God says I love you He is saying just that.  Where did we come up with the I don’t like you part?  Perhaps, we want to say I don’t like what you’ve said/done but I have to love you because God says so.  Hmmmmm  I really don’t think the intent of the command to love others has anything to do with a qualification (but I don’t like you).

There are 3 basic commands in the New Testament…Love God and love others!  (Matthew 22:35-40)  Go and Tell! (Matthew 28:19)  Do any of those say BUT I don’t have to like you, your actions, your opinions, your stuff…?

"These 15 (crash!).... er, 10 Commandment...

When God says love me that’s exactly what it means.  The first 5 commandments of the 10 are about loving God.  He says I AM God!  You can have no other gods in any form whether spiritual or physical.  Honor My Name.  Worship me on the Sabbath and rest from all else.  How do those equal love?  Think about this.  When we are with those we love we focus totally on them (no other gods), we honor them (by not misusing His Name), we let nothing get in the way of our relationship with them (He is the I AM), we set aside time to be totally with them (setting aside the Sabbath).  That is how we are to love God!

How we are to love others is commanded in the next 6.   Honor your parents!  Do not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, or want what belongs to someone else.   This is where the ‘but I don’t like you’ comes into play.  We get ourselves into a self-righteous attitude and say I don’t like you because you lie, steal, covet…  We have to get over ourselves!  Doesn’t God say I AM God and you’re not?  Stop separating the two.  I love you, period.

Fish hook love

 

Love is wanting what is best for another.  It is not wanting what is best when we say, but I don’t like you.  When a person hears, I don’t like what you are doing, being, or saying, they immediately equate it to I don’t love you.  Oh, dear friends, take these words out of your vocabulary!  They are not God-like.  If we truly want to become more like Him we cannot allow our human attitudes to have a part in how we love.  Let nothing get in the way of simply loving!

Oh, How He Loves Us!

Oh, Heavenly Father, let me simply show love.  Keep me constantly aware of Your example.  Let me show love in Jesus’ Precious and Holy name.  Make it so!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Edited and updated from the original published on 7/9/13