Archives For holiness

Dag Hammarskjold, the Formal Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said, “In our era, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action.” I believe holiness will always pass through the world of action. Holiness is proven both by what we do and what we choose not to do. But always, holiness demands action. Only God is Holy, but in our quest to be like Him, we must pursue holiness.

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While it is not something we will obtain in this life, seeking after it provides great training for the next. Peter reminds us God said to be holy because He Himself is holy (I Peter 1:15-16). Since we know we are not holy, it seems obvious we must do something to become holy. In other words, holiness demands action.

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In his groundbreaking book “Cross Vision”, Greg Boyd writes, “The way you imagine God largely determines the quality of your relationship with God. The intensity of your love for God will never outrun the beauty of the God you envision… the depth of your transformation into the likeness of Christ will never outrun the Christlikeness of your mental representation of God.” Jesus is the perfect representation of the Father.

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He is at once both the flawless depiction of God and is God Himself. If we have seen Christ, we have seen the Father (John 14:9). Our eyes have looked on the face of God. If we want to know what God is like, we need only look at the person of Jesus. He alone perfectly reflected and manifested the Father. If we have an imperfect mental image of Christ, we will have an imperfect picture of God.

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It seems to me in this day and age Christians are content to stop short of holiness. Our churches don’t talk about this very much. We talk about many ways to get along with and in our culture, but little is said about living life in a countercultural way. The vast majority of sermons I hear these days are almost a sort of self-help message wrapped in a Christian cloak.

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When was the last time you left a church service less comfortable than when you entered the building? Today’s typical Christian is content with comfort. This is a travesty disciples of Jesus cannot possibly let stand. The whole point of our lives is to live a holy life looking like Jesus. How can we glorify a holy God with a life so far removed from His holy standard?

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You are who and where you are today because of the choices you have made. This is true in your personal life, and most assuredly true in your spiritual life. You are as close to God as you choose to be. Each day of our lives, we choose whether or not to do what Christ has instructed us to do. Spiritually speaking, we are not a victim of circumstance; we are the product and sum total of our choices.

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You can’t blame anyone else for the state of your Spiritual progress. Holiness is your choice. Obedience is your choice. No matter your circumstances, your relationship with God is all up to you. He simply waits for you to take hold of everything He offers.
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Two roads diverging

As you go throughout your days, are you pursuing a life of holiness? Are you consciously striving to be the person God created you to be, a person who is consumed by the love of Jesus? This isn’t a new concept, but it has been brought to my mind in fresh ways through recent teachings by Bill Hybels and David Platt. Not only has God placed a unique combination of passions and skills in each of us in order that we might do the work He created us to do, but He has also charged us to conduct ourselves in a manner that is pleasing to Him (Philippians 1:27).

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