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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Living’

holier-than-thouWhat comes to mind when you hear the word ‘holy?’  Or when you hear the exhortation that Christians should ‘be holy?’

If you’re like me, it conjures up images of rules, regulations, somberness, a removal of myself from the world’s activities.  Judgement/judgmental. Puritanical. Pharisaical.

But is this what being holy is all about?  Certainly, we are to be holy (see Hebrews 12:14). But is it really all about rules, regulations, and judgement?  Man, what a turnoff!?

But maybe, just maybe, that’s the totally wrong way of looking at holiness.  Take a look at these verses (in which Jesus is speaking):

Luke 2:49b (KJV) – ‘Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?’ John 10:37 (KJV) – ‘If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.’       Matthew 26:39 (NIV) – ‘My Father, …, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.’

From beginning to end, Jesus was focused on the one thing — doing the will of his Father.  The center of his life was this obedient relationship.

This, indeed is what holiness is about.  Matthew 6:33a puts it — “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…”

This may be hard for us to understand because in today’s culture obedience has negative connotations.  It implies an oppressive authority figure imposing their will against our desires — taking our freedom — hard tasks done under threat of punishment.

But that is NOT what Jesus’ holiness was about.  It was a total commitment to his LOVING Father.

When we begin to understand this about holiness, then we will begin to see how to be ‘in the world, but not of the world.’  We will also begin to see and live in such a way that the many things in our life should (and can) be rooted in the one thing — listening to the loving Father, seeking His kingdom, participating in the divine nature (2 Peter 2:3).

It is then that Jesus’ prayer in John 17:15-18, 21b becomes reality:  “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.  Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. … so that the world may believe ….

As believers in Christ, as God’s beloved children, may we indeed be holy!

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