Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Humbly Holy part 1

(reflections from the Deep January 13)

I often think of Holiness in a number of ways. Sometimes I view holiness correctly and I crave to know the unique, special, powerful, and wholly "otherness" of God and I also want nothing more than to live a holy life to honor him. Other times I hear the whispers of the world and I fear the label that sometimes causes the misunderstanding of others regarding holiness. I fear being perceived as exclusive, stuck up, better than others, and untouchable. How can I be culturally relevant, able to connect with my friends and neighbors around me who don't know God, and still live out my calling be radically different? Holiness includes so many character traits and behaviors that seem impossible and utterly overwhelming to truly live out in a realistic way. I am supposed to avoid sexual impurity, coarse joking and slander, not even have a hint of sexual immorality in my life, and not complain or argue about anything to name a few of the challenging elements that one pursuing holiness must embody. But how does one live in the year 2007 with out reverting to the Little House on the Prairie lifestyle or completely avoiding the world and closing all influences out? The true reality is IT IS POSSIBLE. It was possible for Jesus and we are called to be like Jesus so it must be possible for us.

I think sometimes I confuse the concepts of God with that of the world. In the Bible God said, "Therefore, Be Holy as I am Holy." I somehow add something to that commandment which makes me want to avoid being perceived as "holier than thou" but God didn't say be holy and prideful, stuck up, and unable to relate to others. Isn't that they way sometimes we Christians are perceived? But in the word he also calls us to be humble (another seemingly impossible task)and not put ourselves above other in any way. In fact, we are called to live such good lives that people wouldn't be able to say anything bad about us. This revelation has been refreshing for me. This week I have been compounding HOLINESS AND HUMILITY. Just think of these two concepts as being together. We are called to be HUMBLY HOLY. We are called to be radically different, pure, Christ-like, blameless and free from sinful lifestyles while AT THE SAME TIME being kind, compassionate, serving of others, and able to relate and love people, too, without coming across as self-righteous. Now that sounds pretty impossible. And it is if we simply rely on ourselves to accomplish this behemoth calling. On our own efforts we will not really be authentic unless we choose by the grace and empowerment of God to let his love make humbly holiness possible.

Thoughts to reflect on:
Holiness: in the highest sense belongs to God (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), and to Christians as consecrated to God's service, and in so far as they are conformed in all things to the will of God (Rom. 6:19, 22; Eph. 1:4; Titus 1:8; 1 Pet. 1:15). Personal holiness is a work of gradual development. It is carried on under many hindrances, hence the frequent admonitions to watchfulness, prayer, and perseverance (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23, 24).

1-Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power; sacred.
2-Regarded with or worthy of worship or veneration; revered: a holy book.
3-Living according to a strict or highly moral religious or spiritual system; saintly: a holy person.
4-Specified or set apart for a religious purpose: a holy place.
5-Solemnly undertaken; sacrosanct: a holy pledge.
6-Regarded as deserving special respect or reverence: The pursuit of peace is our holiest quest.

Titus 2:11-15
11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

15These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Up Coming events
Hope you all enjoy your January and time to relax and adjust to the New Year.

Acting group this Sunday 12:30-3 Choir room
This Sunday night we return to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK PIZZA January 21st
Thursday February 1st Shane and Shane Concert
Saturday February 3rd Bocce Ball and Lunch 12pm
Saturday February 17th The Deep at our home 8pm

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