Responding To God’s Holiness

Isaiah 6:1-8

A stunning sunset, a rainbow, the first blooms of spring, and many other displays of nature will elicit strong reactions. In a similar way, God’s holiness is so magnificent that it causes people to respond in various ways.

Isaiah had a vision of the Lord’s moral purity and holiness. When he saw God seated on a throne in all His glorious splendor, the prophet cried out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5). A glimpse of divine perfection caused Isaiah to recognize the depths of his own sinful condition and to acknowledge the holiness of God. Peter had a similar reaction when he was in the presence of the Savior. After the Lord miraculously filled the fishing nets to overflowing, the disciple “fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!’” (Luke 5:8). However, the religious leaders of the day had a different attitude. The more they heard Jesus’ preaching and saw His work, the angrier they became.

We are Christ’s ambassadors to a hurting world, and we must always act with love toward others. But sometimes those who are not abiding in Christ will experience what I call “holy heat.” People who have rejected Jesus may act as if we are trying to force them to believe in Him. And Christians living in rebellion toward God may become uncomfortable around those who abide in Jesus; they may even ignore the advice of believers who have loved and advised them for years.

God wants us to live out our faith in love, regardless of others’ reactions. Has your faith permeated the many areas of your life?

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