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MORE STORIES...

Is it rational to be a Christian?

A Christmas quiz

The power of one life

Comparing ourselves with others

Do you know what is true friendship?

Slow down and enjoy the view

What's in a name?

The Bible: map, mirror, microscope


The Monaco Christian Fellowship is an international community, with many cultures and languages represented. Our objective is to help people encounter God in relationship, engage truth with integrity and embrace life with purpose. For more information, please go to www.mcfellowship.com.


The power of one life

God calls us to be holy, but what does that mean?

I have come across two popular beliefs about holiness. The first is that holiness is unattainable perfection (“I’ll never be perfect – I’ve tried…and failed”). The second is that holiness is undesirable (“Who wants to give up living to be holy?”).

But is that what God is talking about when He calls us to be holy? Consider the following before you answer that.

In the book of Ezekiel chapter, 22, in the Old Testament, we read about a desperate time in the history of Israel. The kingdom of Judah was under the Babylonians as part of God’s discipline of His people for their disobedience and disregard of Him.

The princes and officials were abusing their power for their own benefit. The priests are described as those who “profane” God. The word profane means “to treat as common.” They had crossed the line between being close to God, which is good, and being casual with God, which is bad. And the prophets were white-washing the things that were going on. Instead of standing up for truth and calling sin for what it was, they were actually justifying sin.

They remind me of those in 2 Timothy chapter 4, verses 2-4, where Paul writes, “Preach the word.... For the time will come when men will not put up with sound teaching. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ear want to hear.” This is exactly what was happening: the people were doing their own thing, the priests didn’t care and the prophets were making excuses for it.

The story ends tragically. Jerusalem was utterly destroyed in 586 B.C. Their leader was caught trying to escape and brought to Babylon. He was forced to watch his sons killed and then had his eyes gouged out so that his sons’ death was the last thing he would ever see.

What does this have to do with holiness? In the midst of all this chaos God said, “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” I would like to suggest three qualifications mentioned here that explain what true holiness is all about.

The first qualification is identification. God looked for someone “from among them.” Nobody special – just one of them. If we think we’re better than everyone else, we’re not fit to serve God.

The second quality is interaction. God looked for someone who would “build up the wall” (figurative image for restoring truth and justice). To be “holy” means to be “set apart.” This does not mean set apart from life, as is often the picture of “holiness,” but set apart to God for the good of people. Holy people are involved in their societies.

The final qualification is intercession. The kind of person God was looking for would be one who acted “on behalf of” others, not just for himself.

In summary, then, let me suggest that identification, interaction and intercession make up biblical holiness.

CONCLUSION

The first conclusion concerns God: God’s greatest desire is to save (“I looked for a man...”). In spite of the conspiracy against Him, in spite of the violence being done to His word, in spite of the lies spoken in His name, in spite of the horrible way people were treating each other, God sought someone whom He could use to spare the people by bringing them to repentance. That, my friends, is grace!

The second concerns us: The potential of one life must not be overlooked. One person, who followed God without compromise or excuse, could have affected a nation. This is still true today.

Do not think you have to start wearing strange clothing, live on a mountaintop or stop feeling emotions in order to be “holy.” God will use you as you are, where you are, if you respect His word, honor it in your life by obeying it and then intercede with and for people for their own good.

FINAL THOUGHT

The saddest words in Ezekiel 22 are, “…but I found none.” It is still God’s desire to save and He is still looking for men and women who will “stand in the gap” for those around them. When God looks at our society, does He find us in the gap?

Think about it.



 




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Comments to date: 1. Page 1 of 1.

Jade,  Nova Scotia

Posted at 9:01am on Monday, December 24th, 2007

Merry Christmas Monaco!!!!

 




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Rev Jim Beerley

Monaco Christian Fellowship Perspective
by Pastor Jim Beerley