Towards Loving Holiness

Towards Loving Holiness

Towards Loving Holiness....because the greatest is love

The Bible is very clear that we are all called to be holy like God is holy. It does not happen without effort but by God’s grace it is possible. To be holy is to be transformed into the image of Christ.

What bothers me is the fact that people think that holy people are boring, repressed, stiff-necked,and self-righteous. But Jesus was not at all that kind of person! What’s gone wrong here? We are called to be like Jesus, not “besserwissers” (better-knowers)! Lord, have mercy!

I’ve been praying about this.
And the answer seems to have something to do with love.

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (1 Cor. 13:13, MSG)

It does not matter how much faith we have,
if we don’t have love.
It does not matter how much hope we have,
if we don’t have love.
It does not matter how holy we are,
if we don’t have love.

We are to move towards loving holiness.
To be holy is to embody God’s love.
Show us how, Lord!

The only way to embody God’s love is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If we are not filled to the brim with God’s love and grace, we can’t love others. We are cranky and we whine when our own needs are not met. But there’s no one else to fill our needs than Christ Jesus. If we don’t abide in Jesus, there’s no way we can love others. There’s no way we can practice loving holiness without God’s grace. But with God we can move towards loving holiness.

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. (2 Peter 1:5-9, MSG, emphasis added)

But why don’t we then do it? We might not truly believe in God’s power. We might be more drawn to the law than the gospel. We might be too self-sufficient. We might think we know the answers to the worlds problems. And when we approach people with this law-mindedness we provoke hate and not love. Because there’s no love in the law. There’s no loving holiness in the law.

But there is no loving holiness in cheap grace either. Cheap grace – the mentality of doing whatever we want because God will forgive us anyway- is not the answer. God is holy and he wants us to be holy, too.

What to do then?

We need to stop focusing on the law. We need to remind ourselves about God’s powerful grace, about the Good News of Jesus Christ, about the strength of the Holy Spirit. We need to embrace the way of the cross and realize that it’s not about the law after all.

It is about God’s love and grace!
It’s about the transforming power of God!
It’s about the amazing possibilities of God!

This is what we are all about. We are not to judge people. We are to share God’s love and grace with them! Because change is possible for everyone in Christ! No one needs to be tyrannized by sin. Joyful living is possible in Christ! This is what still draws and has always drawn people to God. And when we are filled with this powerful grace of God we are practicing loving holiness without noticing it. Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Gracious God,
Forgive us our lack of love and forgetting your wonderfulness.
Let us drink from the endless well of your grace.
Fill us to the brim with your love.
Equip us to share your goodness with everyone we meet.
Empower us to practice loving holiness for your glory.
Pour out love upon love, grace upon grace.
And keep on changing us to Christ-likeness.
Thank you that change is possible in you.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: Do you struggle with practicing loving holiness?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you move towards loving holiness!

Image courtesy of Michael Hickman. Linking up today with Thought-Provoking Thursdays and  Faith Filled Friday.

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