HOLINESS IS NOT A BAD WORD!
“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that is coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.”
I Peter 1:13-15 The Message
I must admit I love working at the Mary’s Song Restoration Center. It is purely selfish and completely, definitely all about me. This is where I see God working in a micro-second with the girls, after 30 years of working with people, I would like to think you could understand where I am coming from.
I just finished an appointment with one of the girls that recently graduated and came in to say hello, she began to tell me how much this year has meant to her, she has found Jesus Christ and that is all that matters. Her friends tell her that she is weird and she told them “good”. In fact she plans to go back and tell the judge who reluctantly sent her to the “faith based “ program that it worked out well.
Holiness is not only the activity of the Holy Spirit to set man apart unto salvation but also enables him to be holy even as God is holy. Are you lazily slipping back into those old grooves of evil or letting God pull you into a life shaped by God’s life, energetic and blazing with holiness! Even this Mary’s Song graduate told me how she had to shut her door and turn on worship music the week she came home in order to get into his presence. She is learning to put on the Lord Jesus and make no provision for the flesh. So many times people have criticized Frank and I about our stand on absolutely no alcohol, no casual socializing with the opposite sex, no secular music, vain jesting and etc. In fact I will never forget a conversation I had with a pastor that said he drinks a beer at barbecue’s to make people feel comfortable about him! And what about spirit -filled denominations serving alcohol at their minister’s conferences. What is that? It’s not what we get by with that measures our Christian walk. Holiness is his gift to us. God gives us grace to look away entirely, evermore, from ourselves, and to depend entirely upon Him.
God’s gift of holiness is available to all of us. Does it take work? Yes, a total surrender on our part. Coming to God as a beggar who is in need of everything. He becomes “altogether lovely” in our eyes, and we no longer worry whether we are accepted or not, married or single, rich or poor. We are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. I just read a quote about this uneducated man who said, “I fell flat on da promises and dat was dat!”