Pastor’s Ponderings: Holy? Us? Really???

Posted by on Aug 21, 2014 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

Greetings Friends;
I want to offer a word of thanks to all who participated in some way with worship yesterday (Sunday August 10, 2014). You all were wonderful and the presence of the Holy Spirit was obvious. In a follow up to yesterday’s focus, I offer this humble reflection below.

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PLEASE READ:

Leviticus 11:44
“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Matthew 5:48
Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

These verses listed above are prone to send many into a time of thinking and reflection and to be sure there have been many artful interpretations on them throughout the years. Yet the Biblical text is clear; God has called His people to live a “holy” life, both in and outside of the Church. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, taught our ancestors in the faith that “outward holiness” is to equal the “inner holiness.”

For the Christian, holiness is the fruit or the evidence if-you-will, of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The “holiness” sets us apart and ensures that we are not “unequally yoked” to this world or the ways of this world (2 Corinthians 6:14). As one author has stated, the holiness of a Christian “seems to set us apart, not in the sense of being other-worldly; but rather in the sense of being grasped by the Kingdom vision that formed the center of Jesus’ life and message.” In other words, our life and ministry of holiness allows us to walk, talk, think, act, have the same values, and share the same vision which Jesus did. In holiness we will strive for those things which Jesus desires.

Every aspect of our lives and ministry comes into conformity to that sacred call of God.
In short, as we open ourselves to the relationship Jesus offers, we begin living our lives and serving through the Church as the Holy Spirit leads and directs. This is done through prayer, studying the Scriptures, holy conferencing, worshiping together, visioning together, dreaming together, having fellowship together, and serving together. Acts 2:42-47 clearly says that the 1st century Christians,

Devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.

And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

This is illustrated beautifully in an old Native American story I read recently.

The story is about a tribal chief who had gathered some young braves together and was telling them about the daily struggle within each of us. The chief said, “It is like two dogs fighting inside of us. There is one good dog who wants to do the right thing and the other dog always wants to do the wrong thing. Sometimes the good dog seems stronger and is winning the fight. But sometimes the bad dog is stronger and appears to be winning the fight.”

One young brave asked the chief, “Which dog is going to win in the end?” The chief answered “The one you feed.”

As God’s people called to be different, called to make an eternal difference, let us strive to be fed daily so we can be a holy people as God has called us to be (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Shalom,

Pastor Jim
 

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