Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Holiness Today...Is it Possible?

Holiness. Does the word conjure up an image in your brain? Maybe you are picturing a super old, stuffy, church with cathedral ceilings and candles and incense, and a priest waving it around...? Is this word just too old?

I grew up in a Nazarene church, and my parents always received this devotion book. Holiness Today. For those of you familiar with the Nazarene church, they follow a doctrine of holiness. Not a bad idea. They didn't just come up with this idea on their own as a way to "do religion."

God wants His people to be holy. It is actually His idea. And if it is God's idea, we can know that it is the best thing for us. It is for our own good.

So what does it mean to by holy?

Here are some other words for holy: consecrate, sacred, hallowed, revered, divine, blessed, religious .

To be made holy means, "dedicated and devoted to the service of God"(dictionary.com).

In the Bible, to be made holy or to be holy is also written as "to be set apart," "sanctified," and "consecrated."

God wants His people to be holy, for that is what He is. "For I am the Lord you God. You must consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy" (Leviticus 11:44).

This all sounds nice, maybe a bit antiquated, but fine. But how do we do this, today, in the 21st century?  Is it even possible to be holy?

You know, I believe it is, and it is something we are called to if we belong to God.

A good example of how to do this is the commandment to "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy" (Exodus 20:8). It is not the day of the week that makes it holy; it is the fact that we set it apart from the rest of the week. We choose to rest a day because that is what God commands.

So, to be holy, we must set ourselves apart from the rest of culture. God's followers should do things a little differently than people who don't follow God. It is a choice we must make. It just doesn't happen. We don't just put on a white dress and decide we are holy today.

To be set apart for God means to be devoted to Him and His service. That is a daily choice we must make. In whatever we do, we can devote our actions to God.
"And whatever to do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus" (Colossians 3:17).
This verse is for everyone, even the stay-at-home mom! We can devote our daily routines and actions to God. When we do that, we are holy and set apart for Him!

What happens when we do choose to be set apart for God? He can use us in big ways because we are at His service. Also, Hebrews 12:14 explains it a little more clearly.
"Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord."
I believe if we are holy, nothing will separate us from seeing the Lord. This applies now, in our daily lives, not just when we die. We can see the Lord and experience Him in our lives now, if we walk in holiness. We will be able to see Him at work in our lives and in the lives of others.

This gives my mama-heart encouragement. If I devote my daily actions of raising my kids to God, I set myself apart as His servant, then I will see God do great things in and through my children. What an adventure and what a promise for this mom to cling to! What can be better or more exciting than seeing your children grow into who God wants them to be?

I will leave you with my verse for myself and my kids. When it comes to holiness, we do have some help. God's word. Knowing His word will enable us to serve and obey Him better.
"Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth" (John 17:17). 
We can do it, moms! We can be holy in this day and age. We can help our families live set apart too! Moms are so important. What a job we have!

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