May 14, 2012
Jesus Culture Music 2009, Album: Consumed, Name of Song: Holy
Just one look on your face
Just one glad of your eyes
My whole world is changed
My whole world is changed
All I seek, only to see your face
I don’t wanna go anywhere without you God
Without your presence
Oh, let me see your face
The beauty of your holiness God
Take me in to the holy place
And only one word comes to mind
There’s only one word to describe
Only one word comes to mine
There’s only one word to describe
Lord God Almighty
There’s no one like you
You are Holy, holy
…separated to the gospel of God… —Romans 1:1
Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the gospel of God. The one all-important thing is that the gospel of God should be recognized as the abiding reality. Reality is not human goodness, or holiness, or heaven, or hell— it is redemption. The need to perceive this is the most vital need of the Christian worker today. As workers, we have to get used to the revelation that redemption is the only reality. Personal holiness is an effect of redemption, not the cause of it. If we place our faith in human goodness we will go under when testing comes.
Paul did not say that he separated himself, but “when it pleased God, who separated me…” (Galatians 1:15). Paul was not overly interested in his own character. And as long as our eyes are focused on our own personal holiness, we will never even get close to the full reality of redemption. Christian workers fail because they place their desire for their own holiness above their desire to know God. “Don’t ask me to be confronted with the strong reality of redemption on behalf of the filth of human life surrounding me today; what I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.” To talk that way is a sign that the reality of the gospel of God has not begun to touch me. There is no reckless abandon to God in that. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character. Paul was not conscious of himself. He was recklessly abandoned, totally surrendered, and separated by God for one purpose— to proclaim the gospel of God (see Romans 9:3).
by Oswald Chambers
When parents ask why their son or daughter didn’t do what was asked, the response is often an excuse. “I didn’t hear you,” “I didn’t have time,” and “I didn’t realize you wanted it done right away” are familiar statements to moms and dads.
In a similar way, we tend to offer a wide variety of justifications to the Father; “excusitis” is all too common an ailment. Excuses are an attempt to shift responsibility for what we’ve done (or failed to do) to something or someone besides our self.
We may fail to achieve God’s plans for another reason: greed. Selfishness won’t help us succeed in His kingdom. But generosity—giving as the Lord commands, taking the opportunity to speak words of encouragement, or using our time to help others—brings blessing.
Acting against our conscience is another hindrance. It makes us double-minded: We feel guilty over our action but want to continue anyway. In this condition, we find our concentration diminishes, preventing us from putting our wealth of experience, ability, and talent into the work God has assigned us.
One last obstacle is laziness, which is often accompanied by many excuses and yields the same result: disobedience to God. For example, the Lord commands all of us to practice the “one another” (Rom. 12:9-16), but frequently His instruction goes ignored because it takes too much effort.
With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can overcome these common negative tendencies. Which one is He prompting you to work on?
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
Let no modern Christian ever think that he can ignore the Old Testament and base all his faith and practice on just the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, as vital as they are. Even the apostle Paul, who wrote more of the New Testament than anyone else, depended heavily on the Old Testament Scriptures for his exposition of the New Testament doctrines he had received “by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12).
For example, in the longest and most doctrinal of all his epistles—that is, Romans—he actually quoted from the Old Testament no less than sixty times, even though the epistle had been specifically addressed to Gentiles (Romans 11:13).
In his letter to the Gentiles at Corinth, after an extensive discussion of the Old Testament account of the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, he said: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
In this passage, the word translated “examples” is the Greek tupos, from which we derive our word “types.” Thus the experiences of the Israelites were actually revealed by God to be “types” of Christ and our relation to Him. Therefore, in addition to the many explicit prophecies about Christ in the Old Testament, many other Scriptures can be profitably expounded as “types” of Christ. Indeed, in all the Old Testament Scriptures, as Christ Himself taught, are “things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). HMM
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
You cannot study the Bible diligently and earnestly without being struck by an obvious fact—the whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!
Neither do you have to give long study to the attitudes of modern Christian believers to discern that by and large we consider the expression of true Christian holiness to be just a matter of personal option: “I have looked it over and considered it, but I don’t buy it!”…
Personally, I am of the opinion that we who claim to be apostolic Christians do not have the privilege of ignoring such apostolic injunctions. I do not mean that a pastor can forbid or that a church can compel. I only mean that morally we dare not ignore this commandment, “Be holy.”…
But, brethren, we are still under the holy authority of the apostolic command. Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy. The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God.
Oh, Lord, strengthen me today, walk with me, keep me cognizant of Your presence, guard me from any thought or action that would be displeasing to You. Amen.
…Yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13
Much that passes for New Testament Christianity is little more than objective truth sweetened with song, and made palatable by religious entertainment.
I take the risk of being misunderstood when I say that probably no other portion of the Scriptures can compare with the Pauline Epistles when it comes to making artificial saints. Peter warned that the unlearned and unstable would wrest Paul’s writings to their own destruction, and we have only to visit the average Bible conference and listen to a few lectures to know what he meant!
The ominous thing is that the Pauline doctrines may be taught with complete faithfulness to the letter of the text without making the hearers one whit better. The teacher may and often does so teach the truth as to leave the hearers without a sense of moral obligation.
One reason for the divorce between truth and life may be lack of the Spirit’s illumination. Another surely is the teacher’s unwillingness to get himself into trouble. Any man with fair pulpit gifts can get on with the average congregation if he just “feeds” them and lets them alone. Give them plenty of objective truth and never hint that they are wrong and should be set right, and they will be content!
But the man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life—but a glorious one!
And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? GENESIS 3:9
There is a divine voice that continues to call. It is the voice of the Creator God, and it is entreating us. Just as the shepherd went everywhere searching for his sheep, just as the woman in the parable went everywhere searching for her coin, so there is a divine search with many variations of the voice that entreats us, calling us back.
If we were not lost, there would be no Father’s voice calling us to return, calling us back. So, I say again that we have not been given up.
Think of the Genesis account: Adam fleeing from the face of God, hiding among the trees of the garden. It was then that the sound of God’s gentle voice was heard, saying “[Adam,] where are you?”
I would remind you that His seeking voice has never died out. The echo of that voice is sounding throughout the widening years. It has never ceased to echo and reecho from peak to peak, from generation to generation, from race to race, and continent to continent, and off to islands and back to the continent again.
Throughout all of man’s years, “Adam, where are you?” has been the faithful call.
I pray earnestly, O God, that I may not be found among those with hardened hearts, no longer able to hear Your voice. Please speak to me today…I’m listening.