God’s Call to Holiness

God is calling us to be holy!  God is calling us to great dignity and honour, to lives that are pure and reverent.

God says: “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” Leviticus 19:2 But what does it mean to be holy?

Holiness is the central attribute of God. Holiness is God’s divine perfection, absolute purity and moral righteousness.  “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”  Psalm 145:3

To be holy is to be ‘consecrated’ or ‘dedicated’ to God, ‘set apart’ for His divine purpose.  This is not only the calling of the ‘religious’; it is a calling for every person desiring to live in an intimate communion with God.

‘Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine.” Leviticus 20:7

In our churches we have ‘holy vessels’ that belong exclusively to God. If a holy chalice were to be used for a sinful purpose, (e.g., drunkenness) then that chalice would no longer be considered a holy vessel for it would be defiled. To return it to its holy state, the chalice would need to be emptied and cleaned and reconsecrated to God.

In a similar way, we God’s people must separate ourselves from all that is unholy and contrary to God’s Will in order to live holy lives, lives connected to God, lives of great dignity focused on pleasing God.

When we are defiled by sin we must see ourselves as the chalice that is no longer empty and pure. We must humble ourselves before God calling upon the divine assistance and forgiveness of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Believe in God’s mercy for He so desires to purify us from sin and enable us to begin a life of holiness, fully dedicated to God.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”  Isaiah 1:18

Holiness begins with deep humility and faith. We cannot become holy on our own. Holiness is the work of God on a soul that is humble and contrite, reconciled to God and surrendered to Him for His holy purpose.

I like to picture humility as the chalice that is empty and clean. As we acknowledge our sins, we acknowledge all the ‘choices contrary to God’s Will’ that have filled up the chalice with the filth of sin. When we confess our sins and ask for the forgiveness of Jesus we ask Jesus through the power of His Holy Blood to purify us.  A humble person acknowledges that without God they cannot do anything.

Let us stand before God as an empty vessel cleansed by the Blood of Christ hoping for and waiting for His Holy Spirit to fill us with His divine love and power. There is no room for God if our lives are full of sinful pursuits, but if we renounce sin and seek God’s forgiveness, we can become empty and clean ready for God’s divine blessing.  Once blessed we can serve God and man and even become the cup of blessing for the world.

Holiness is a communion with God such that we strive to embrace His Holy Will in all that we do. Holiness is a path of righteousness where we hold the hand of Jesus and strive to walk as He walked, blameless before God and man.

“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13

Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14

Holiness requires obedience to the commandments of God. Loving God and loving our neighbours is the focus of holy people.  Holy people never forget to thank God for His many blessings, acknowledging His infinite goodness for every blessing.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

The devil will always try to tempt us to pursue ‘unholy paths’ that will offend God, but if we want to be disciples of Jesus we must stay close to Our Lord trusting in His love to strengthen us and keep us on a path that gives God glory.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

The type of denial that Jesus is speaking of can be misunderstood. Remember holiness is to be ‘set apart’ or ‘consecrated’ to God. Denial is about separating us from the people and experiences that are contrary to God’s Holy Will. God wants us to avoid experiences that may lead to sexual immorality, drunkenness, greed, lust, gossip, avarice etc.

Many people go into financial debt in a pursuit of material things and experiences e.g., the big house, the new car, the boat, vacations etc. The lust of the eyes can lead to greed and various forms of immorality, but the holy love of Jesus will lead us to performing humble works of charity.

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.” Proverbs 19:17

Lust is born of the devil, but love is born of God.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

All Christians are called to be holy, set apart for the Glory of God.  At the end of our lives we will be judged by our actions.

“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”  Matthew 16:27

Heaven is beyond our ability to fathom!  God’s call to holiness leads us to eternal joy in heaven!

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him…” 1 Corinthians 2:10

The question today is will we accept this holy calling and strive to live in a perpetual communion with Our Lord Jesus who leads us to Paradise?

Jesus does not want a casual relationship with us. Jesus wants an intimate relationship with us.  Now the idea of being holy may seem impossible, but remember it is God who ‘makes people holy’ when they surrender and strive to live in obedience to His Holy Will.

Jesus wants us to trust that He can help us to become the people He wants us to be.  In other words Jesus will help us live up to our potential and no one else can do that!

Let us live remembering that we are always in God’s Holy presence. When we really embrace this truth that God is always with us notice what happens. We begin to speak differently.  We choose our words more carefully. We become more patient and more generous and more merciful, for Jesus is all those things, patient, generous, merciful.

Prayer keeps us ever connected to Our Lord Jesus and if we dedicate our lives to God for His glory then our whole life can become a ‘living prayer’. We must pray not just with words, but also with good deeds that please God.  We must ask for God’s forgiveness for our sinfulness and we must also offer that forgiveness to others too.  “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  Matthew 5:7

Success in God’s holy eyes does not always look like what we might expect. Society seems to value ‘being busy and productive’ and ‘being always connected’. I rarely see people without a mobile phone in their hand.

Consider for a moment that true success in God’s holy eyes requires that at times we stop being busy and that we disconnect from everything other than Him?

God says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Silence is the medium for hearing God’s holy voice in our hearts, but to receive this divine indulgence we need to deny ourselves the ‘always-on connectedness’ of our mobile phones, computers, music players etc.

Create some truly special quiet time with Jesus to reflect on your true identity as His special possession.  Reflect on God’s Holy Word as spoken in the Bible and hear God speaking to your heart.

Please honour Our Holy Lord by joining the prayer movement, A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ. This is a movement that is uniting disciples of Jesus in a daily prayer in remembrance of the Passion of Christ. It is a holy moment where we thank Jesus for His infinite love and sacrifice. We stop at the Time Jesus died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones or any global time zone that is convenient for prayer) to remember how much Jesus suffered to give us the gift of salvation. At this time we pray for peace in our hearts and in our world. We pray for Jesus to stop violence and evil.  We pray for the Holy Spirit of Jesus to be poured out to save all souls and help us to embrace God’s Holiness.  Only the Holy Spirit of God can convince the world of its need for repentance and for God to renew us and transform us into people of great dignity and honour, dedicated to pleasing God.  Keep praying and living in God’s Holy presence for you are called to holiness.  Keep praying for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit to cause a peaceful revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ, dramatic global change that will restore the relationship between God and man.