Prayer Focus: Armenia

Bible Reading: Leviticus 19-22

Scripture

“Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.” 19:2

“Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.” 19:15

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” 19:18

Observation

God doesn’t ask much of us, just to be holy, just like Him.

Application

I would pick that verse.  Describe the holiness of God in 50 words, or less.  Use two examples.  Didn’t I have a test like that in Sunday School?

If I can’t even describe the holiness of God how can I live up to it?  Oh, that’s right, I can’t.

It’s not uncommon for us to think of ourselves as good, but what about holy?  Does anyone have the guts to claim that title?  Unfortunately, there are a couple who do, but that’s a post for another blog, I think.

Holiness, fairness and grace are, I think, three defining topics for the Christian. Our sin nature works so hard against us that our view of these three things can be very skewed.  I’m not a huge fan of bumper sticker theology, but I do appreciate the classic, “Not perfect, just forgiven.”  For the weary Christian devastated by their sin that simple phrase is a huge relief.  For others it can be a scapegoat.

When God asks us to be holy it is without qualification, but too often I qualify it.

But God says, “Be holy as I am holy.”

As the apostles discovered without Jesus this is impossible.  And what scares me is that it feels like that lets me off the hook.  Did God lower the bar for holiness?  No.  Through Jesus Christ He lifts me up.  Every time I try to lower that bar it’s like I’m telling Jesus, “I don’t need your help.”

Thankfully, Jesus plays deaf when I say that.  God’s grace reveals His holiness and thankfully He’s totally unfair about it.  (That means He gives us the grace we don’t deserve so that His holiness will cover our unholiness).

Prayer

I want to be holy, but I just can’t do it.  I want to be fair, but it feels so natural to show favoritism.  I want to love my neighbor, but grace just doesn’t come easily for me.  Lord, I can’t begin to even fathom a single facet of the jewel that is Your holiness.  I’m not trying to butter you up with words, but it’s my weak attempt to at least try an understand a simple single piece of your holiness.  Thank You for Your grace and reveal to me each day how to best glorify You.  And I mean that part about everyday, because it seems that I forget pretty quickly.

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