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Holiness – Set Apart

“And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him;

and they were full of eyes within:

and they rest not day and night, saying,

Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty,

which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

We are to be holy or “set apart” unto the Lord. We are not to be conformed to this evil world. When we choose not to try and live holy as He is holy, the Holy Spirit within us convicts us and we cannot be happy and experience the joy of the Lord. What a sad way to live. Holiness is the character of God and the code for our Christian conduct. Our KJV Scriptures show us the holiness of God and express God’s desire for His children to develop a similar holiness:

Exodus 19:6 – “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Leviticus 11:44, 45 – “For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 19:1, 2 – “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 – “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”

The word holiness has several different meanings. In terms of our individual relationship to God, it means “set apart.” God is the “wholly other” or totally different One, unlike any other. Holiness also describes a way to live. Christians are called to live according to a different set of principles and standards than the ungodly world–to lead a pure life in accordance with God’s call, commandments, and consequences. This “set apart” life of righteousness is of God and from God. 1 Corinthians 1:2 – “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:” 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 – “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” And let us not forget what the word Christian means – to be Christ-like. These days, that word gets thrown around very loosely so that many do not take it as seriously as it is meant to be. The world looks at many of today’s so-called Christians and laughs at them, saying, “If that is Christianity, I want no part of it.” So many think it is okay to live with one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom of Heaven because so many of today’s feel-good churches teach them that they can do whatever they want because God loves them. Yes God loves us, but He hates our sin, and if we say we are Christian and continue in any sin, we have broken fellowship with our Lord. And we have ruined our testimony for Him in the eyes of this world. A holy life is a life that always chooses to do what God desires, just as Jesus did when He came here from Heaven and lived a holy life as an example for us.

Obedient believers are instructed to NO LONGER be conformed to their old desires and patterns of thinking and behaving 1 Peter 1:13-16 – “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We see over and over in God’s Word that we are to be holy, as He is holy. The conforming to a life of holiness, however, requires more than the “will” of a person to “change.” It is the work of the Holy Spirit made possible through Christ’s death on the cross. So if we are putting substances in our bodies that affect our minds, we are numbing that Holy Spirit. That is when we choose to do our own thing and go the way of the world, instead of conforming our minds and hearts to the heart of Christ. How sad that the precious Holy Spirit of God gets drug through every bad choice we make.

True happiness is illustrated only in God, though the Holy Spirit empowers His children to pursue holiness 1 Thessalonians 4:7, 8 – “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.” The good news is that as we seek to be holy and invite the Holy Spirit to do His work in us, the Lord responds by cleansing us, leading us into His righteous and holy ways, and strengthening us to withstand the temptation to return to our former “ungoldly lives.”

We cannot make ourselves holy; but, if we desire to become holy and set our wills toward following the Lord, He will make us holy. The Lord never commands us to do something that He does not enable us to do Romans 4:21 – “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” God always prepares the way and provides us with His resources to accomplish His plan. The Holy Spirit is our greatest resource for living a holy life unto God. So many forget that God’s saints will live a holy life with Him in Heaven for eternity. Why not start practicing living holy unto Him now.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2018 in God's Truth

 

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Becoming a Godly Woman Part 2

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster...

English: Portrait of Rebecca Greenleaf Webster, wife of lexicographer Noah Webster, by the American artist Jared Bradley Flagg, oil on canvas. 84.7 cm. x 72.7 cm. Image courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Titus 2:3 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

My last entry focused on what it means to be Godly with behaviour that becomes holiness. Today’s topic is false accusers. The Greek word for false accuser is diabolos (dee-ab’-ol-os). It means devil or slanderer. Nowadays we call them gossipers. I think we can all agree that gossiping is not Godly behaviour; it is quite the opposite and very harmful.

Gossipers are known for starting or spreading malicious rumors, and/or divulging personal information that someone has trusted them with. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines a gossiper as: “One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler.”

Are they always women? No, men have been known to do it too, but I would say that women are the weaker vessels in this area. Are they always older women? No, but older women are to set an example for the younger, inexperienced women. Have I ever gossiped about someone? Yes, I shamefully admit that I have. One thing though – the Holy Spirit has convicted me very quickly, helping me to make things right when I have joined in on gossiping. I was also taught, growing up, not to say anything behind a person’s back that I would not be willing to say to that person’s face.

Have I been hurt by others’ gossip? Most definitely, and God lays it on my heart to remember those times when I feel tempted to prattle on about someone else. I pray daily (and sometimes constantly) that God will guide and control my tongue along with my thoughts and actions. Left to my own devices, I cannot overcome any temptation.

I have seen precious souls leave God’s house because of one person’s thoughtless scuttlebutt. Some have found a new church home, but some were so devastated by such hurtful actions that they left the church never to return. Also, sadly, lifelong friendships have ended because of an uncontrolled tongue.

Our speech comes from one of two sources – Satan or God:

Words that are motivated by Satan are full of bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, earthly concerns and desires, nonspiritual thoughts and ideas, disorder, and evil.

In Contrast:

Words that are motivated by God are full of purity, peace, consideration for others, submission, mercy, sincerity, impartiality, and goodness.

If we are sincerely seeking to know God more each day, we are in His word, listening to His direction in our prayer time, busy about God’s work, and caring for our families. That leaves no time to focus on what may or may not be happening in other peoples’ private lives. The old saying, “idle minds are the devil’s workshop,” is appropriate here.

Luke 6:45 “A good man (or woman) out of the good treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man (or woman) out of the evil treasure of his (or her) heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his (or her) mouth speaketh.” Additions in ( ) are mine.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Godly Women

 

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Becoming A Godly Woman

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Over the past year, God has placed a strong desire in my heart to become a more Godly woman. I know that I have definitely grown in my walk, just not as much as I could have. I have stopped listening to Satan’s lies that because of my past I am not good enough. I have made the decision to no longer allow guilt to hold me back from being the kind of woman that God has always intended for me to be.

I have come to learn that the biggest hindrance to my growth in the Lord has been my need for control. Since I have made the choice to endeavor to place my life under God’s complete control, I have felt an overwhelming joy and peace. I mean, did I ever really have control in the first place? The only control I had was to say no to God’s control. Will I have times of doubt, most assuredly. But, I know where I can go to receive immediate confidence.

I think about what being Godly means — to be like God, to think, speak and behave like Him. The greatest compliment we can receive is when others see us as Godly. They can see God in us, and this brings glory to our heavenly Father. Am I saying that to be Godly is to be perfect? No, of course not, that is impossible while we are in our human forms. I am saying that we can all do our best to be ‘like’ God. This does present us with quite a challenge, but it is achievable.

With that said, I have asked the Holy Spirit where to go in God’s word to find the direction I need. I believe He has led me to start in Titus Chapter 2. I will attempt to take this inspiring Scripture a step at a time beginning with verse 3.

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;”

Okay, aged, meaning old. While I believe it is including elderly women, it is also making reference to “mature” women. Yes, that sounds much better to me. Since I am well under the age of 60, I think it is speaking of those of us who have raised our children, but we are not ready for the rocking chair yet.

Our behavior is to be such that becomes holiness. I would put it this way – we are to live in a way that honors God. We are to set an example by living reverently for God – respecting Him and His rules – basically just doing what is right.

There are many young women watching how we older women deal with the challenges that life throws our way. We can either be a Godly example and show them that it is God’s hand on our shoulders that gets us through, or we can be a worldly, selfish example and see them turn their backs on the Christian life.

It is heart-wrenching to watch women today as they struggle to just do their best without God’s direction, and therefore, miss out on His blessings. Along with that comes regret. It does not have to be that way.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2011 in Godly Women

 

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