Sunday, March 18, 2007

Monday Morning Devotions

Read Ps. 1:1-3
For anyone who places their trust in Jesus Christ, God the Father transforms that man or woman into the image of the Son Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. God does the work, yet He does give us a part to play. We can divide our part into the negative and the positive. We put off sin and habits that cause us to sin. We avoid certain people, places, situations. The negative always comes first. Then the positive is added: new people, good places, we cultivate new habits and thought patterns. As we do, God does the work by His grace. This glorious process is illustrated in Psalm One. Verse one deals with negative actions, the putting off of old associations that cause us to doubt God and His ways. Verse two deals with positive action: meditation upon God's Word to transform our minds. Verse three describes the result: "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in its season,whose leaf also shall not whither; and whatever he does shall prosper."(NKJV) The tree does nothing to make itself grow. But it is in the right place for nature to produce not only growth, but in this picture, non-stop growth. We do not change ourselves into Christ's image, but with God's help, we can create conditions where God's grace operates to undertake the transformation process for us.
Recently I found notes on holiness. I don't remember making them. I have no idea if they were made while I was a pastor, or a student at WBS. Whenever they were made, they make a good addition to this post.
What is Personal Holiness?
Loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves. This is "Christ-likeness." This is not an "it" that one comes to the altar to receive when the pastor or evangelist encourages us to come forward to receive "it". I can only be Christ-like if the love of God is in my heart through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; the love of God and man that comes from God is in my heart. Christ-likeness is Christ in me. In Him we find our purity, power and assurance. Jesus is our Holiness, He loved His Father perfectly.
Love of God equals obedience.
Love God perfectly, then obey Him in all things.
Holiness is perfect love. Of God and man.
Isn't Holiness just a goal? Is it possible for followers of Jesus to be perfect in love? It is a goal, but an attainable goal. We are commanded to be perfect as God is perfect. (Matt 5:48) To demand something impossible for us is not in God's character. He is a good Father; He calls us to be Holy, then He empowers us to be Holy.

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