Skip to main content

Be Holy - Trust God

The past couple of weeks God has been hitting me with the idea of holiness. I have recognized the need for a personal commitment to holiness, and I have seen a need to call the Church to commitment to holiness. I am absolutely convinced that the problem with the Church in the United States is a lack of holiness, and that holiness begins with those of us who are leaders.

What do we have to do if we are going to be holy? I think the story of the rich young ruler can give us some insight:
17 As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him, knelt down in front of him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? Nobody is good except for one—God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Never murder.’ ‘Never commit adultery.’ ‘Never steal.’ ‘Never give false testimony.’ ‘Never cheat.’ ‘Honor your father and mother.’” 20 The man replied to him, “Teacher, I have kept all of these since I was a young man.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. Then he told him, “You're missing one thing. Go and sell everything you own, give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me.” 22 But the man was shocked at this statement and went away sad, because he had many possessions (Mark 10:17-22; ISV).

This is one of my favorite stories from the life of Jesus. The reason I like it is because I identify with this wealthy young man. I identify with this young man because we both share the security of wealth. While I am not wealthy compared to most people in this country, I am wealthy compared to most people who have every lived.

I identify with this young man because we both grew up knowing right from wrong and doing our best to do what is right. We have failed, but the moral life is something that we both desire. I appreciate his desire to live according to God’s standard.

I identify with this young man because he had a desire to know God and to get to heaven. That desire burns in me as well. I want to strengthen my relationship with God and to eventually be with Him in heaven. This is a guy I think I could have gotten along with.

It is because of this identification that I see this story as a warning. It is a warning because after his encounter with Jesus he went away sad. He was not willing to trust God, to get rid of his security, and follow Jesus. In other words he was not willing to be separate from the world. When we follow Jesus we separate ourselves from the world. We are no longer guided by its value system, we no longer pursue its goals, and we no longer accept its version of truth. This young man was not willing to live a holy life, instead he chose to remain part of this world.

I bring this up because what gets in the way of holiness in our lives are those things we cling so tightly to right now. Those things that we think make life worth living. For the rich young man it was his wealth, for me it has been freedom. I want to have the freedom to watch what I want to watch and buy the things I want to buy and go to the places I want to go. What is it for you?

Holiness is the result of following Jesus. Until we give up our security, our life, and follow Jesus we will never be holy. By not following Jesus we allow ourselves to be influenced by the world and thus we remain part of this world. Holiness requires a separation, that is why it requires giving up our security and following Jesus. If all we do is give up our security, whatever it is, then sooner of later we will find some other worldly value to replace it with it. Following Jesus is the act of replacing the old security with faith in Christ. Remember this: Following Jesus makes us holy.

When the rich young man left Jesus he went away sad. Why? The Bible really doesn’t say, but I imagine it is because he realized that his attachment to this world cost him eternal life. His unwillingness to separate himself from this world meant that he would forever be a citizen of it. He lacked the faith to trust God with his life. Do you?


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…