Sunday, November 17, 2013

Simple Pleasures

The other day I was reminded that it does not have to take something elaborate to make a meaningful moment. Rather, a meaningful moment, can sometimes be the simplest ones.

I marveled at the happiness my children exuded when they got to play with a animal pen made of only cardboard and sticks- FUN!

Then the joy of Boche Balls turned duck-pin balls.

Who wouldn't want to ride on this tractor?

Simple. Pleasures.

Likewise, I marvel at how meaningful it is when I simply whisper the name Jesus, or breathe a word of thanks in the middle of my busy-ness. It suddenly becomes an elaborate moment- a moment where time slows down, and there is a perspective shift.
 It's in these moments that Jesus is aligned back at center.
It's in his presence that there is fullness of joy.
 It's at his right hand, that there are pleasures evermore.

Don't miss those moments.
Simple Pleasures.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holiness: to honor him Part 2

"The greatest compliment to a creator of a thing- whether a musical masterpiece, or an admirable work of art- is to keep it as he created it. This says, to the artist, I agree- your work is good."-Chantel Lorayne

 This second part of our holiness study is going to focus on the ordinance that God set in order from the creation of man. Remember holiness is about being set apart from the world's standards, structures, and rules and instead walking according to God's.

The Purpose
When God created man his purpose was to create man
 (1) in his image and
 (2) in his likeness. (Genesis 1:25)

First ,according to the Word, the image of God is "the Word made flesh." John 1:14

Hebrews 1:3 NKJV who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Secondly, the likeness of God, is his character of holiness, or separation.

1 Peter 1:14-16 King James Version (KJV)
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

In short, we are to be like him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holiness: To honor him Part 1

God is God (and I am not)

Since the beginning of the earth as we know it God revealed his character of holiness. His first recorded act was to separate light from the darkness.  

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,


Qodesh (kō'·desh)
apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness
apartness, sacredness, holiness
of God
of places
of things
set-apartness, separateness(reference,
This Hebrew word for holy denotes sacredness, and something that is apart from something else.

God is so serious about holiness that he says:

Deuteronomy 22:9-11

New King James Version (KJV)
“You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.10 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.11 “You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together.
So wait, are we dishonoring God by using mixed materials and plowing with two different kinds of animals? What does the bible say?

Hebrews 10:1a (NIV)
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—...
image from the web

God wants us to understand the principle of holiness and apply it to every area of our living. God, who is a Holy God, and in whose image and likeness we are to exhibit, deserves and demands a holy people. 

Holiness means we are not conformed to the world. Holiness demands a transformation in us. They way we think, they way we reason, has to be renewed.
Here are a few verses on separation that should inspire us to examine ourselves. Are we holy unto the Lord?

Ezra 6:21So the Israelites who had returned from the exile... together with all who had separated themselves from the unclean practices of their Gentile neighbors in order to seek the Lord, the God of Israel.
Ezra 9:1 After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. 

Have we failed in being distinct from those around us? Are we a beacon of light in this dark world? Or do we blend in? 

John 17:15-16  (KJV) 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
Did you catch that cause and effect there? Be separate...and I will receive you. 
Ezra 10:11 Now honor the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you...