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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunset on the Suquehanna River
Sunset over the Susquehanna River
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"God is Holy"

"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).

In the contemporary church we see a great deal of emphasis on fellowship and intimacy with God, which is indeed a real blessing.  But it concerns me that there may very well be a de-emphasis on His holiness.  I hope that no serious follower of Christ would have the irreverent "man upstairs" view of God, but there are those who speak of their relationship with God in such mere human terms such as, "Let's love on God."  I've also heard "Let's have some Daddy Time."

Today we would like to consider the topic of God's holiness as we also share some reflections based on a book by A.W Pink, a British Bible expositor from the early 1900's.  May these thoughts bless your heart today and point your attention to the Holy God.

Three characteristics of God's holiness:

1) God's holiness is absolute. It is perfect, complete, lacking nothing.  We may speak of holy people and indeed a Biblical term for believers is "holy ones" often translated saints. In our lifetime we have met godly people who fervently seek to live a faithful, obedient life before the Lord but God alone is absolutely holy.  Our daily verse is a praise from Hannah who rightly exclaimed, "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).

2) God's holiness is singularly distinguished at His throne. The brief Scriptural images we have of the throne indicate this.  In Isaiah's vision he records the cry around the throne of God as "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory" (Isaiah 6:3). Revelation 4:8 reveals that day and night around the throne they never stop proclaiming: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

3) God's holiness demands that He hate all sin. Habakkuk 1:13 declares concerning God "Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong."  Westminster's definition of sin is "any want of conformity to or any transgression of the holy law of God."  We should indeed cry out with Isaiah at God's holiness, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

Three responses to God's holiness:

1) Because God is holy our acceptance with Him is based only on His grace and not our "good works".  "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).

2) Because God is holy we must approach Him in the utmost of reverence.  Although we can be thankful for the close fellowship we have with God we must never forget that this attribute fundamentally asserts the need for humility and reverence in His presence.  The Psalmist rightly proclaims: "Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; He is holy" (Psalm 99:5).

3) Because God is holy we should desire to be like Him. God's Holiness is our standard and His Word our guide.  "But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy" (1 Peter 1:15, 16).

Indeed God is holy so we must worship Him today in spirit and in truth.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee.
Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, Blessed Trinity!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the first and the last, the Beginning and the End, the Living One who was dead and is alive forever and ever! You hold the keys of death and Hades and You hold the key to our hearts. You have promised that if we overcome and do Your will to the end we will be saved, not only in this life but in the eternal life to come.  Help us to live as pilgrims in a barren land, for there is no Rock like our God on which we can build a firm foundation and overcome the evil one.  Keep us faithful and true, living as a holy people among a people estranged, disobedient and hostile toward You.  In Your powerful name we pray.  Amen.

Personal story (completely unrelated to today's message) - Yesterday we shared a message about how shortly after moving to Lancaster County a mouse got in our fridge. We pointed out that it was the first of many mouse encounters we've had since living in the country. Well, the weather's been getting cooler and last night they were back, at least two. I set several traps. My girls (both Ester and Brooksyne) scream whenever they see one. I am concerned my neighbors may wonder if there are some domestic issues!  I brought our cat Dottie in the house (she had been banished to the barn due to clawing furniture). However she seems to have lost her hunting drive and when she sees the mouse she looks on with bored disinterest. Our dog Roxie appears to be scared of them.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources

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(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Holy, Holy, Holy"  Video 
"Holy Is The Lord"  Video
"We Fall Down"  Video
"There Is No Rock, There Is No God Like Our God"  Video
"Take Time To Be Holy"  Video

A.W Pink's book, "The Attributes Of God" is available online.
Entire book (arranged by chapter)
Chapter on "God's Holiness"

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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