Tag Archives: God

FEBRUARY 19 – What is Holiness

FEBRUARY 19 – What is Holiness

Psa 29:1  A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 

2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 

Holiness is God’s nature or character. The Bible idea of Divine Holiness is perfect moral and spiritual excellence which is summed up by I John 1:5 – This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Our holiness is not of us but of God. It begins with our Consecration, our dedication and devotion to God. In this sense, things, places, times, ceremonies, as well as persons, are spoken of in the Old Testament as “holy to the Lord.” The ground around the burning bush was considered Holy as long as God’s presence was manifested there. Those utensils consecrated for service to God in the tabernacle and temple were Holy because of their purpose of service. I find it interesting that what man chose, such as high places, strange fire, and golden calves were never called Holy. Only the things where God’s presence resided were considered Holy.

Man has been called to be holy. That holiness God has called us to imitate. We cannot do that without becoming a new creature in Christ with new desires and new longings. To be holy means we need a personal purity, righteousness, goodness and true holiness requires us to be like God. Our acknowledgment that we are sinful like Isaiah said of himself in Isaiah 6:1-6 is the first step to holiness. Our adorning should be as in I Peter 3:4 – “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

God does care about our holiness. Let us strive to be holy.

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Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

20 If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

22 And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

23 Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

24 And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

26 And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

How often do we commit ourselves to God without giving much thought to what we say?

Joshua gave a WARNING. Ye cannot serve the Lord: for He is a Holy God. Do we forget His Holiness? He called for Moses to remove his shoes for he was walking on Holy ground. Once again the same command was given to Joshua to remove his shoes. The saying “fools rush in where angels fear to tread” is a true saying. The reverence and worship of God are neglected today. Let me do a rephrase of the last sentence. The reverence IN the worship of God is neglected by some today.

Joshua’s warning contained an element that some ignore today. God is a JEALOUS God. In the Old Testament, the exact dimensions for each item of worship were laid out meticulously. The very act of worship was laid out in detail. We are in a day and age where each person wants to worship in their own way and disregard Gods way. This is called will worship. I will worship the way I want to and disregard Gods way for us to worship.

Joshua says God WILL NOT FORGIVE. Will full sins and transgressions, God will not forgive. Give some serious thought to this. Now some may not like this but willful sin and transgressions will be punished. Willfulness is sin. It reveals a stubborn and rebellious nature. Rebellion is something that God hates. We really need to examine our attitude and make sure we are in the will of God.

God will do you HURT. Punishment does hurt. There are things that happen to us that we might never relate to the punishment of God. God uses things in our life to punish us. Gods punishment can be devastating. When we commit to the service of God we need to do things Gods way and be faithful in service.

Ye are WITNESSES. We commit to God and become witnesses to what we have committed. Could that be the reason that not many respond to an altar call today? If they make a commitment before others there is a Church full of witnesses.

Would it be wonderful to have a Church of brokenhearted people walking the aisles to commit themselves to the Lord?

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Joshua 4:20-22 – And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal.

21 And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?

22 Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.

Monuments are built upon events. These events become a narrative about history. Here are monuments for the children of Israel. These monuments are designed to cause children to ask questions. This gives the opportunity to tell children the story of deliverance, provision and protection. This would be a story of victory and set backs and murmuring and complaining and forgiveness.

While we travel the highways of this great nation there are monuments that tell of events, historical events about an event that took place there. I enjoy stopping to read about the events. This reveals the fabric of our nation. Monuments in our lives reveals our fabric as a person. Was it the world or Jesus that brought us to the person we are? Our monuments, the moments of life that shaped us reveal a dependance upon the world or trust and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We need monuments in our lives so that our children will ask us what does this mean. Our salvation is a memory that should be a monument. Our children would then ask, why do we do this or that, we can answer based upon our salvation and the will of God in our life. We could the tell them of their need to be save. These are monuments and should not become idols of worship.

We should build monuments to salvation so that our children and loved ones will know how to be saved. We should build monuments about baptism so that others know the proper candidate, authority and mode. We should build monuments about the Lord’s Supper so our children and others know that it is only for Church members of the local Church. We need to build monuments about the Church and how it is local only.

We should build monuments of our lives that are a testimony and a witness to our children and others. These monuments should be a legacy of our faithfulness to the Lord.

Let us go build Godly monuments.

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Deuteronomy 32:37 – “… where are their gods, …”

This raises a question, who is our God. We find here that the people of Israel have left their God for idol gods, gods of this world. In this chapter, God explains all the things that God has done for His people. He has provided for them, provisioned them, and protected them.

In verse 6 He calls them foolish and unwise. They have made some bad choices. They have been called to proclaim greatness unto God because He is the Rock, He is a God of truth, without iniquity, just and right is He. Then He calls for them to remember the days of old, talk with the old men, the men of memory that recall the goodness and greatness of God. Their choices had consequences.

Our choices have consequences. How can we leave the trust we have in almighty God to trust in the gods of this world; the god of money, the god of power and the god of lust. These are little rocks that cannot sustain and keep us. Yet, so many have turned away from God and turned to the beggarly elements of the world. These worldly elements have become the comfort of those that at one time trusted God. The reasons could be the enticement of the world through entertainment. One deacon at a church I was visiting told me that on super bowl Sunday, he wouldn’t be at church if Dallas was in the super bowl. Entertainment and sports superseded God. There are many things that can separate us God the Father and turn us to the gods of this world. The ridicule of family, slight or offense of another Church member. We make this decisions and choices to leave the true living God and turn to the world and the gods of this world.

Israel left the worship and following the true God for the gods of this world. Where are those gods of the world when they are needed. There is no consolation in the gods of this world. What is the answer? Remember the goodness of God. Remember the provision of God. Remember the protection of God. Remember the grace of God. We should erect monuments of remembrance just like Israel did when crossing Jordan. May we remember.

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JANUARY 20 – Established by God.

JANUARY 20 – Established by God.

Genesis 41:32 – “… it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.”

What God says, God will do. How simple is that? Yet there are those that think God is not serious about what He says. If Israel had believed God would they ever yearn for the leeks and onions of Egypt? Would they have reject to fight for the “land flowing with milk and honey, when the spies came back with grapes carried between two men? Would they have rejected the Savior when He was on trial? Yet, YET –

There are those that do not believe in what God has established. The Psalmist says that God’s Word is for ever established in heaven. I truly believe that His Word has been given to us in unadulterated word and man has continued to try and destroy it from the time it was written. Why should that not surprise us. Satan began changing and distorting the Word of God in the garden. “In the original manuscripts” is a construct or product of mans mind to allow man to argue for what closely follows their preference. God has established it, inspired it and preserved it. Men supposedly educated in the Word about 1845-1848 in Chicago, started saying that the Bible “contained” the word of God. That leaves the Bible open to private interpretation and the use of the term, culture to cut out whole principles that Paul wrote about that is contained in the Word of God, yet some is not the Word of God. Figure out that paradox.

We have, supposedly, educated preachers that say that there is no millennial reign. They also say that there is a universal church and the Lord’s Supper is not important enough to observe the way it was observed by Jesus and the first. Church. What God has established, NO MAN has the right to change. Where God has established the means and methods, NO MAN has the right to change.

I am so happy that God has established the plan he has for us. I don’t have to be innovative. He has established how to reach the lost. But the most important, God has based our salvation upon this attribute of God. Every promise or prophecy ever made is based upon the unchanging attribute of God. God has promised me everlasting life. The everlasting life is not based upon my performance but on the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Everlasting life is not based on baptism because the blood cleanses me from all sin and I am forgiven. His surety is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which seals me until the day of redemption. I am guaranteed to enter the portals of heaven and spend eternity with Jesus Christ my redeemer.

My life is now engaged in living, loving and learning more of god. What a blest day I have knowing that all God promised will be accomplished.

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Exodus 14:25– “… let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

How often do we face obstacles that seem as if they will crush us? We are consumed with worry and doubt. We don’t know how we will get through a particular situation. God says in the 37 Psalm to “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, … .” He also says “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not theyself… “ Do not get irritated or agitated because of your enemy.

If we could be obedient and put our trust in the LORD, how much better our health would be. There will always be those that oppose us. Don’t worry. There will always be those that want to destroy us, Don’t worry. Our trust is, or rather should be, in the LORD and not our own understanding.

There are times that fear and uncertainty causes us to stop. Remember that Israel was caught between mountains on each side, the sea in front and Pharoah’s army to the rear. God provided a way for them by opening the Red Sea for a safe passage for Israel. This safe passage became a death trap for Pharoah’s army. God delivered the nation of Israel against all odds.

God loves you just as much as He loves Israel. We may face trials and tribulations but God say “fret no thyself.” Do not worry I am hear and I will fight for you. I will deliver you from or deliver you through every problem and trial that you will face. I love you and will keep you from all harm. How much faith do you have in God?

Exodus 19:1 – ye shall be Holy

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Exodus 13:9 “With a strong hand hath the Lord brought the out of Egypt.”

How often do we remember our life before we were saved? How often do we remember when we were saved and the relief and emotion that we experienced. Have we really considered what it took to deliver us from the bondage of sin?

Therefore when I contemplate what God has done for me through the death of His innocent Son, I realize the “…strong hand” hand of the LORD. This is the strong hand that has delivered me from death and hell. This is the strong hand of John 10:28, 29 which says says no one can pluck them out of my hand, and then re-enforces that with, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all’ and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. Now that right there is security. Saved and secure.

With a strong hand God keeps me in the salvation of Jesus Christ. With great strength, God led Israel from the clutches of Pharoah. When the chariots were bearing down upon the people at the Red Sea, they were delivered by God’s strong hand. He opened the Red Sea and Israel crossed on dry ground. Pharoah would take advantage of this and cross the Red Sea by the same means. God, by his strong hand, caused the chariot wheels to come off. With His strong hand, he closed the Red Sea and drown the army of Pharoah.

God, with His strong hand can take us through perilous times and perilous places. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me; …:There is comfort because of the strong hand of God. We are safe in the arms of God.

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Exodus 3:10 – “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh…” Moses was sent. It is an example for us. He was sent to lead Israel out from bondage. He was sent to face Pharoah and give him a message from God. It was a simple message. “Let my people go!

Moses had several excuses for not going. 1. I have no power or standing to approach the supreme leader of a nation. 2. I don’t know your name so that I can tell Israel who sent me. 3. They will not believe me nor listen to me. 4. I can not talk in an eloquent manner and my speech is slow.

Sounds like a bunch of Missionary Baptists. Always the excuses. I am too busy. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to start a conversation. I don’t see anyone to witness to. While my father was still with us and preaching and pastoring he would often make the statement, “I don’t know why God called a shy, bashful, backward country boy like me to preach the gospel. But he did.” At the age of about 80, my dad tossed his car keys to a son and said you can drive me to town. Upon their return quite some time later the son went to my mom and said, grandma, we would have been back sooner but granpa had to talk to everyone in the store. He always carried a bulletin or tracts and a shy, bashful, backward country boy from the hills of Batesville, Arkansas had been equipped by God to witness to anyone he met of his Savior.

Every excuse that Moses came up with was met by God. 1. I have no standing – I will be with thee. If God be for us who can be against us. We often quote that but do we believe it enough to practice it? 2 I don’t know how to tell the people who you are. – We have who God is. -I AM THAT I AM – “Thus shalt thous say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 3. God, these people will not believe me. – “What is that in thine hand, a rod. We have God’s word. That is the reason it is important to memorize verses, carry a small New Testament with you and have a general knowledge of God’s Word. Every born again child of God should be able to show scripture of how to be saved, whether it is the Roman Road or John 3 or Paul on the road to Damascus. 4. I can’t talk. God gave Moses a mouth piece, his brother. I have observed people that have used that excuse. Some of them have never met a stranger. In our area, John Deere is a large employer and these people that can’t talk, know they can ask where a person is employed. Cubs is a baseball team that is religiously followed and that subject is often discussed among strangers. We have had several weeks of below zero weather and it has been discussed by strangers. Deer season is a great subject that know no stranger. They are strangers only when the subject of Jesus is raised or rather not raised.

It is time to learn how to turn a conversation to the Lord. There are times that I sit quietly and run through my mind various ways to turn a conversation from the subject some want to discuss into a conversation about the Lord. Preparation is the key to being sent. If a salesman tried to sell the best product on the market without knowledge of the product and a way to present it, he would starve and his family would starve with him.

We are sent. Let us prepare and then GO!

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Exodus 3:1-6 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 

2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 

3  And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 

4  And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 

5  And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. 

6  Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 

Most of you are familiar with this passage. It is a great passage that ends with what God says He is. “I AM THAT I AM.” It also gives us a great principle that all of us should understand. God sets the standard for coming near to Him.

Today we are a self absorbed people. We are the center of our universe. Every thing, we think, should revolve around us. We set our music choices and say, God this is what I give and you must accept it. We set our worship style and God, you must accept it. We set our way of living and God, you must accept it. We set the way we talk and God, you must accept it. We do this with “attitude.”

God set some standards for Moses. God said to Moses, don’t come near to me. As I read this I understand that there are some things I need to do to approach God.

1. I need to approach God on His terms and not mine. God is Holy. Sin cannot come into the presence of Holiness. Attitude is not allowed in the presence of Holiness.

2. Notice, the term “take off your shoes.” I take that as get rid of the things that separate you from God. We know that common courtesy of the Old and New Testament was to take a guest in and wash their feet getting rid of the dust and dirt from traveling dusty roads. We see in the New Testament Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. This, to me is a statement, “you are saved, yet you have traveled in the world and have been spotted with the sin of the world.” This shows us that we are not to bring the world into our relationship and communion with God. Here is a simple statement – you cannot come into the presence of God until you; CLEAN YOURSELF UP FROM THE WORLD.

3.God will meet you where you are but He does not want to leave you there. I know this is a popular saying – God Will Meet You Where You Are. I see that all the time and I want to shout, Yes He will meet you in your sin and degradation and upon your repentance and confession He will save you. Now you are a new man in Christ. He does not leave you in that sin and degradation, His desire is to bring you out of sin and the old life. Some are so thankful that their whole life changes and others notice. Old friends leave because they love sin and you no longer love sin. There are others He has to pull kicking and screaming away from the love of the world. That causes some of us to wonder if they were truly saved. Some need to read Ephesians chapter 4, where Paul wrote about the new man.

Christians are not Frank Sinatra. We don’t do it our way. We must do it God’s way. He is our creator and sent His Son as our Savior and the Holy Spirit as our indwelling seal until the day of redemption.

I heard this statement some time ago. Well, God will have to understand. How presumptuous is that statement. Do we really think we can manipulate God? We must understand what God wants. That brings things from rebellion to humility. Are we really humble before God?

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Genesis 41:32 … it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

God never fails in what He has established. It is comforting to know that God has established many things for us to depend upon. We depend upon God to accomplish all that He has established. He has established our seasons and has said that we will always have these seasons. There is not one man or a host of thousands that call themselves scientists that can change what God has established. He separated the seas and oceans with land masses and set the boundaries of the oceans. They will never rise past the boundaries that God has set, irregardless of what man or scientists say.

Every promise or prophecy mad by God is based upon this unchanging attribute of God. God has promised me everlasting life. The pronouncements of men contrary to this statement can take away my everlasting life. His promise to save me was completed in His Son and my repentance and confession. I have the surety of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that seals me until the day of redemption. I have no fear of scrambling to be good enough, or join an organization, or be dipped into a vat of water to secure myself. My Lord and Savior has guaranteed that the portals of heaven will swing wide for me that day my Lord calls me to join him in that celestial place.

My life is now engaged in living, loving and learning more of God. My worship is not for my own pleasure or desire, but is designed to be pleasing unto the Creator and sustainer of my life. What a blest day I have, knowing that all God has promised will be accomplished.

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