Monday, August 5, 2013

THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS Part I

Not long ago, our pastor gave a sermon on a particular topic of which I now cannot remember...  Not highly unusual for me these days (which is why I take notes)! Nevertheless, one thing that he mentioned during the course of his talk was 'the beauty of holiness.' THE beauty of holiness.  I instantly had a mental picture of hundreds of men in priestly garments standing in the temple of God in Jerusalem singing praises and making offerings to our Great God!


It really did strike a cord with me causing me to wonder what exactly is this beauty, this holiness, and how is it is manifested in our lives today...?  As I started to dig into His Word to find out more, I began to understand just how deep and how important it is to understand the mystery of this beauty.  His definition of beauty, as with most things, is not our definition of beauty. It is a true reflection of His beauty and holiness.

I'll just touch the surface of this beauty in today's post and continue on as His Spirit leads....

The first scripture I came to:

"Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!" 1 Chron. 16:29

1) Give to the Lord the GLORY DUE His name.  What does that look like?!

We are to give Him the glory due His name. To give glory to Him in all things, whether we are in good times or in bad. Whether we are suffering or celebrating. He gets the glory ALL OF THE TIME as "we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28.) It is not always easy. We must remember that He reigns; Let the earth rejoice; Let the multitude of isles be glad! (Psalm 97:1) Even when we don't feel like it!


2) Bring an OFFERING, and COME BEFORE Him. What does that look like?!

Here is the dictionary definition of offering:  

1. something offered in worship or devotion, as to a deity; an obligation or sacrifice.
2. a contribution given to or through the church for a particular purpose, as at a religious service.
3. anything offered as a gift.
 
Okay, so I wasn't far off with the offering part! A sacrifice, a gift. Something we give Him, for Him, that He desires with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Our service, our time, our money, our desires, our plans, our resources, our lives. Something that doesn't come easy to us to give and feels contrary to the desires of our flesh. Something that is, yes, difficult for us to give and should, in fact, make us feel a bit uncomfortable. It is not about us but solely about Him.


His beauty. His holiness. Your beauty. Your holiness. It is the way He sees you now through the looking glass of righteousness and sanctification through our Savior, Lord and King Jesus the Christ. He wants us to look in the mirror and see Him rather than ourselves. He wants us to manifest this beauty and holiness in our lives today so that others can see Him in you. So that you can lead others to Him!  

It is a slow process of surrender and conversion of the heart, mind and spirit. With each step taken, the road becomes a little easier. Remember that bag of carrots? To be continued...

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2