“Resetting Holiness!”

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“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

“And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23).

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:6).

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

Resetting holiness.  Has the church lost this all-important standard?  Has the desire to become a seeker-friendly church (which I have nothing against) and the like caused us to shift our focus from how God calls us to worship, live, and operate?

Have we become like the temple that Ezekiel witnessed, whose people caused the glory of God to leave that place?

Studying Ezekiel 8, we see while there was “worship” going on in the temple, it was not God’s worship.  The people who were to live in a covenant relationship with God were bowing down to false gods and giving themselves over completely to idolatry.  The people who were to live pure and holy, a sanctified (set apart) people, their lives and practices now celebrated the things God called abominations.  Things that were wrong and out of order of the true reverence of God were now being declared to be right and acceptable.

In that, I wonder how far the modern church has drifted from God’s holy standards and how close we are to being like those people of old.  Those who “worshiped” wrongly behind the walls believing it did not matter and that nobody, including God, saw them (ref. Ezekiel 8:12).

While we may not be involved in those exact things, and while I have nothing against the modern uses whereby we usher in worship, I must wonder if in our coming together, we are coming in the right spirit.  When David penned the words, “Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2), I see in those beautiful verses what God deserves, and I must ask myself are we giving Him what He deserves?

Are we magnifying His glory in our building and in our lives, or are we chasing His glory away from the center of what we call worship, as seen in Ezekiel 10?

For God’s glory to be strong with us, we must be strong in God!  God doesn’t want us to honor Him with our mouths only, but He wants us to live and worship Him from the heart (Matthew 15:8; Isaiah 29:13).

And, my friends, it is from the heart where the resetting needs to begin, a heart that longs for more of God.  It is worship that invites His presence to come closer rather than repelling.  We want God’s glory permeating the atmosphere as in the days of old when they were overwhelmed in worship by His presence in a good way (1 Kings 8:10-11).

But for that to happen, things must change.  Wherever God’s presence is, things cannot go on as before.  He is a holy God, and the environment where He resides must be holy.  There is a transformation that must take place where the people worship.

God’s desire has always been to be near His people.  And in Ezekiel 43, he sees a light of hope.  Instead of seeing God’s glory moving away from His people, God’s glory is moving toward His people, toward His temple (43:3-5).

With that also came a message of warning: “And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile . . .” (43:6-7).

God cannot reside in an unsanctified place.  The people’s responsibility was to get in line with what God wanted.  For Him, there has always been a line between holy and unholy (Leviticus 10:10).  There must be a resetting of holiness as the standard then, as well as now: “This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy . . .” (Ezekiel 43:12).

In all of this, you may be wondering how exactly do we go about the business of resetting holiness?

First, I must say that resetting holiness should always begin with repentance.  God’s glory left the temple because of the people’s sin.  Sin corrupts.  Sin interrupts fellowship with God.  Sin will prohibit Him from coming to where you are.  They were to “put away” from them those things that defiled the place of worship (Ezekiel 43:7-9).

James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (see also Isaiah 1:16 and 2 Timothy 2:21).

Then, there must be the restoration of proper worship.  They had to do more than take the wrong things out.  They had to bring in or adopt the right things, the right ways.

For them, the focus was on the altar and how it was to be consecrated, respected, and used (Ezekiel 43:13-25).  They had to fully honor God in His service.  They do this by honoring the way He prescribed things to be done.

How this restoration of true worship may look for us today is for us to refocus on why we are here, what we are doing here, and who are we honoring here.  Answering those questions will help us to realign our purpose for being here, which all boils down to one complete, overall answer: God.

Why are we here? – God.

What are we doing here? – God.

Who are we honoring here? – God.

When we keep those three things in proper perspective, we reset holiness as the standard in our lives and in our worship, and the glory of God can take over the atmosphere.

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Walking Through the Gate

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“Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.” (Psalm 118:19-20)

Gates give entrance.  Gates keep our intruders and ne’er do wells.  Gates offer protection and security for all who dwell within her walls.

Gates ask if you belong here.  They want to see if you are identified as someone worthy of trust to be in her enclosure.  They make sure you have permission to be here to enjoy the treasure within.

Many fancy themselves going through those pearly gates one day (Revelation 21:21).  Many claim they will have immediate entrance to the eternity within.

Friend, if you want to enter, make sure you have the right key make sure you have aligned your life, your heart, and your soul with the right point of access.  And that right point of access is through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Once, Jesus taught, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).  If our deep desire is to walk through those future gates, please know, dear soul, that none can enter without Jesus.

As the shepherds of old would lay their bodies across the entrance of the sheepfold (compare John 10:7), Jesus Christ has laid His body on Calvary’s cross that one day we might enter the fold of the righteous.  That one day, we might be where He is.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  Jesus is, and I cannot express this enough, dear heart, the only way in.  He is the only way you will ever experience that spiritual freedom you are looking for.  He is the only way to be truly delivered.  Through Him, is the only way to salvation: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).  And He is the only way to gain that holy admission to heaven. 

When He becomes your Lord, you have access to the treasure within, and those gates will be opened for you, and you can say with holy confidence the words of the psalmist: Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter” (Psalm 118:19-20).

Access the right key, Jesus Christ, and the doors will be opened for you.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.  Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:7-10)

Receive Him for yourself today.

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Live It Well

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“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.” 2 Peter 3:11

The past is the past and the future is still up ahead. How are we living our day today?

The things we see before us will not always be here. The problems, people, and circumstances change as often as anything can change, yet in light of all those changes and the passing of things, how are we living to make a difference today?

You, my friend, are a person of testimony. When the world looks at us, they see what and Who we represent. Are we living in such a way as to draw men closer to Him or is the manner in which we live acting as a repellant?

Eternity is ahead for all of us. The decisions, choices, and things we carry out in our daily lives give testament to our hearts and what we truly believe. Are we making sure the faith we profess to have on the inside of us is shining like a beacon on the outside, drawing people closer to our Savior?

How we live matters!  Talk is cheap!  Actions speak louder than words!  We’ve heard those sayings most of our lives but usually only apply them to someone we are in an argument with.  What Peter really wants us to do is mind our own steps in life and live this life well.  It’s easy to pick away at the life of another and the choices they have made when we are not as careful to judge our own steps.  Jesus asked, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). 

Our eternity is not bound up here, rather we are pressing toward the goal of heaven.  With that being said, we must mind “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.”  We won’t have to answer for anybody but ourselves, and we will only have to answer for how we lived.  And, how we live matters!

Therefore, live it well!

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” – Proverbs 21:21

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” – Mark 8:36

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:8

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:” – Colossians 2:6

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24

“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” – Colossians 4:5

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” – Hebrews 12:14

“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” – 1 John 2:6

See also The Patience of God

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I AM THE LORD!

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Reading in Leviticus chapter 22, in the middle of what seems to be a bunch of rules, regulations, and requirements for offerings, these four words stand out in the midst of them all: I AM THE LORD. Looking further, you will see these words appear in this exact order seven times in this one chapter alone.

Many shy away from reading through books such as Leviticus because they can be lengthy and somewhat boring to read for some. In a book that is filled with details and sacrifice, commandments and consecrations, what to eat and what not to eat, cleanness and uncleanness, relationships and feasts, laws and penalties – all was laid out with this purpose in mind: worshipping God in the holiness He deserves, because, as He said, “I AM THE LORD!”

If you do a deeper study, you will see that these four words appear throughout this entire book, not just chapter 22, many, many more times.

The gist of it all is what I think most, even in our modern churches and lives, forget that everything we do, we do for the Lord. Our lives, our worship, are not our own. We are to be dedicated to Him and give Him what is due to His holy name.

When we come before God, we are to have a devoted mindset and heart. Our worship is to be as pure as any sacrifices offered unblemished before the Lord in the Old Testament. Our lives are to be pure and open vessels ready to receive what His Spirit pours into us, and in turn, we are to pour out His blessings into the lives of others.

What are we giving to God daily? What are we offering to Him in our times of worship?

God wants the best of us!

He wants holy lives that recognize and live for Him because of who He is: the LORD! He is God, the Author and Creator of the universe and beyond. He is as supreme as supreme can get, and He deserves to be reverenced as such. The Bible states, “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” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Other parts of Leviticus tell us, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God” (20:7).

God wants holiness in our lives and our worship. I love a message that pronounces blessings just as much as the next person, but without holiness, it means absolutely nothing in His sight. As a whole, we need to come back to the central theme of true holiness because the LORD requires nothing less.

I am not talking about rules and regulations, but rather hearts fully dedicated to Him because they recognize that He is the LORD, and they want to give Him the best of themselves. And, that is a holy life.
We must never lose sight of, diminish, or bring down to our level the glory and honor God deserves. He is the LORD! He is Sovereign overall! He is Master! He is Savior! He is King! “I AM THE LORD!” He exclaimed, and holiness before Him is what He desires.

Amen!

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.