May we find ourselves holy as God is holy

 In Tori Smith

“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

-Leviticus 19:2  ESV

At home we are intentionally trying to spend a few uninterrupted minutes each day focusing on God and doing a devotional together. There are days, however, when we are distracted and don’t seem to manage even a few minutes. What distracts or interrupts us most? Surprisingly, it’s not our boy, Wyatt, but our pup, Noah! When we gather, he sees this as a perfect opportunity to play — he tries to sit with the kids or finds something to shred daring us to chase after him! When the chase begins he thinks it is GAME ON!!! — or so he thinks! 

I admit that some evenings I just give up and offer a prayer that we will do better the next day. But, no matter the distractions, we continue to try to spend these few minutes together — listening for a way to live with the Lord in a manner that pleases Him.

Every evening we seem to eventually get to the topic of Holiness. What I’m noticing in our precious time together is that the idea of Holiness — defined by one being (in this case God) — is a foreign concept to youth today.  I know I come from a different era where maybe too many rules were not really rooted in God’s plan for holiness — things like don’t play cards, go to dances or wear red.  But the pendulum has swung too far to the other side. It seems  “anything goes” and holiness has no place or can’t be defined in absolute terms. However, the scriptures are quite clear. There is a holiness that we are to pursue. And that holiness is defined by God and not what human beings would like to see happen.  If I had my way, holiness would be defined by clean bedrooms and bringing dirty clothes to the laundry space in a timely manner.  But holiness has nothing to do with my way, and everything to do with God’s way! 

The Scriptures in 1 Peter 1:13-19 seem to make it very clear….we are to be holy as our Lord is holy!

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action,[a] and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

God cares about our character, not so that we earn our salvation and gain a relationship with Him.  Jesus Christ earned that for us on the cross.  God cares about our character because He loves us and wants us to live lives that are blessed with an abundance of Him and His favor.  If we are constantly working against Him, we are like our children who seem to constantly defy us.  Because we care for them, we are saddened when their defiance makes their lives and the lives of those around them more difficult! Defying God’s way makes our lives hard and saddens Him. This life is hard enough without going against the way of God.   

In a world where absolutes are frowned upon and “whatever feels good in the moment” is the right thing to do, I must first challenge myself and then challenge the kids to be holy as God is holy!

So now I ask you….are you Holy as God is Holy?  Is God’s holiness something you care about — or are you living like the world around us where whatever is the desire of your heart is acceptable?  I challenge you to examine your actions and pursuits and measure them to God’s standard of holiness.  Why do I make this challenge?  Because I want you to live in the abundant life that God has for you!

May we find ourselves holy as God is holy. 

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