Revisiting Glimpses and Scratching
Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Most of you know, I lost my first three posts, a rookie mistake for sure. Ed said, 'God is giving you a Mulligan ... a do over.' I thought it would help us to revisit the highlights of those first two posts on Holiness.
God is Holy so we are to be holy. 1 Peter 1:14-16 'As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, "Be ye holy; for I am holy."' Peter is quoting the Tenakh, Leviticus 11:44, 45; 19:2 & 20:7 *
We can glimpse the holy, set apart, uniqueness of God in His creation. These glimpses can be different for each of us. They are the moments we stop, step out of our every day and pause, worship and be lifted up. Distractions are chased away by our awe in our Creator. It can be as simple as the first smell of our first cup of coffee in the morning, a sunrise or sunset, the scent of a flower, a hug, a smile, a beautiful vista ... lightning or as complicated as the revelation we are fully loved and accepted by the One Who knows us better than we know ourselves. They are the glimpses of the magnitude of our Creator. No sunset, sunrise or snowflake is exactly the same. Even our tears look different depending on our reason for weeping.
And why does He want us to be Holy ... because He is Holy. God wants what is best for us. Not just what brings momentary pleasure, but eternal joy. His instructions/directions (most commonly translated commandments) are there for our well being. Just like guardrails, they give us boundaries of safety. Do you get angry, frustrated or annoyed by guardrails, lane markers, laws of physics? Why do we instruct our children not to touch hot materials, to be aware of weather conditions, not to swim alone? Because we love them. God left us His Word to provide wisdom, instructions and directions to keep us safe and guide us on our journey of life.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are set apart, called up & out of our worldliness. We are given the Holy Spirit to indwell in us. He is our seal unto salvation. And though we will sin unintentionally, missing the Mark, we no longer have to 'choose' to sin. Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary states: 'Man is more or less holy as his heart is more or less sanctified, or purified from evil dispositions (inclination; propensity; the temper or frame of mind). We call a man holy when his heart is conformed in some degree to the image of God, and his life is regulated by the divine precepts. Hence, holy is used as nearly synonymous with good, pious, godly.'
So, how can we begin to be holy? John 14:15 'If ever you may be loving Me, My directions you shall be keeping.' CLT (Concordance Literal Translation) We can act out of a heart of love, as love is the catalyst for obedience, and keep His directions as He leads you into a deeper understanding of His Word. Now our understanding of His Word doesn't just drop into our heads. We are to 'Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV (King James Version) Study infers a sense of laboring, time committed, sacrifice of the distractions that so easily draw us into their control. I would encourage you to read both of these scriptures in their full context.
I was watching The Chosen last week, Season 2, Episode 1 and the following conversation struck me ... 'You ask a lot of your followers?' asked Ramah's father of Jesus. 'Yes, but of those who do not follow me, I ask very little.' When we accept the saving grace of Jesus, we receive above and beyond our comprehension. A brief list would include: atonement of all our past, present and future sins, an eternity in the presence of our Creator, Redeemer, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a forever family, a new life, strength, authority ... We are also promised Whom the LORD loveth, He chastens/corrects (Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6). He is not willing to leave us stagnating in the mire He has pulled us out of. He refines us until He can see His own reflection, counting us as more valuable than silver and gold. Zechariah 13:9 'And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.'
One of my favorite Bible images is Revelation 4: 6-11 'And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, Who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.' We also find these four creatures in Isaiah 6 crying, 'Holy, holy, holy.' They have spent a minimum of 800 years (Isaiah ~ 720 BC & John 90 AD), day and night worshiping the One Who sits on the Throne. That leads me to believe, God's holiness is beyond my imagination! How about you?
* In my next post, we will be digging deeper into what it means 'Be ye holy, for I am holy'. I will give you a clue ... each of the Levitical quotes begins with consecrate or sanctify yourself ...
As a post script ... I have saved this post in a separate word.doc and printed it out.