Remember ~ He's Holy

Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Psalm 98:12 KJV

When we rejoice, we are purposeful about calling to mind the many benefits of our heavenly Father. This psalm specifically tells us to give thanks and remember His holiness. 

I think we all know holy as meaning sanctified or set apart, some equate it to clean living (clean living is the fruit borne of being holy) but I want to focus on the idea of holy being different.   God is holy because he is different.  He is not a man that He should lie.  His thoughts and ways are higher than ours. His love is never failing.  His mercy is new every day. He is just different from our limited human nature. 

I found an interesting word study on Holy from the Discovery Bible ‘Helpsthat follows;

From the Old Testament 24d (SN 6944) qodesh – properly, what stands apart – "differentness" (apartness), holiness; preeminently used of God's Essence which is inviolably holy; what is set apart, utterly distinct from "common" (profane).

The root supremely refers to God's eternal character which is "absolutely distinct" (other) – separating "the inviolability of the spheres of the sacred versus the profane"

From the New Testament ~ 40 hágios – properly, different ("unlike"), other ("otherness"), holy; in relation to believers, 40 (hágios) refers to "likeness of nature with the Lord," i.e. they are also "different from the world."

The fundamental meaning of 40 (hágios) is "different" so a temple in the 1st century was called hagios ("holy") – because different from other buildings (Wm. Barclay).  In the NT, 40/hágios ("holy") has the "technical" meaning "different from the world" because "like the Lord."

It is by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.  If we call evil as God does, then we place upon ourselves a demand to live out of righteousness and holiness.  Righteous because it is right and holy because it is different from the world. 

Peter wrote in his first epistle, “but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  As partakers of His divine nature we are called to be different, in the world - but not of it. 

Called to be different looks differently and holds different standards, different values, different character and always different from those seen in the world.  

I love the picture Jesus gives us of being and mixing with the world yet never becoming worldly.  He lived with his disciples He fellowshipped with his Father and He impacted the world with His life because He was different from them all.  They had never heard a word such as His.  They had never seen the works He had done or the way that He did them.

John Wesley is quoted as saying, "The first priority of my life is to be holy..”  

C. S. Lewis said, "Sainthood lies in the habit of referring the smallest actions to God.”

When we realize that God has a thought about everything and we consider His thoughts above ours, we find ourselves adapting to His ways of being and doing.  It is always different from our carnal nature but it is the only way to express His Holiness.  

AND we can do this because we have been given the HOLY Spirit who helps us in all our weaknesses.

Forgive....even as.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors….” Matthew 6:12

We look continually for God’s mercy when we personally mess up and saw last week how willing our Father is to freely and graciously give mercy to us.

Strongs’ Greek Definition for this word debt is defined as something owed, a due. Thayers’ Greek Definition is that which is justly or legally due, a debt.

Since we live in an age of entitlement, it should be pretty easy to see how we fall into the mindset that others owe us and are tempted to hold them in ‘debt’ especially when it is perceived as just and/or legal to do so.

We all have certain expectations about how others should give to us. We even have scriptural standards about righteous behavior towards one another. The error comes when we demand something that isn’t freely or willingly given and withhold what we should freely give.

The book of Romans says owe no one anything but to simply love them. Forgiveness can only flow from a heart of love. Unmet expectations could cause us to remove an open hearted love towards them.

We don’t judge this as He would. We excuse ourselves saying there is no un- forgiveness in our hearts but when scrutinized by the love of God, anything that is not freely for ‘giving’ to another would be un for giving, i.e. I don’t want to give them anything! It’s the withdrawing that’s dangerous.

Entitlement is a slippery slope. Parents feel like their children owe them. Spouses hold the same mindsets. Pastors to their people. Volunteers to the ones they help. We all expect accolades and thanks for the things we do, but how do we handle the lack of expected yet unfulfilled ‘dues’.

We come to the Father daily, looking for His goodness to fall upon us and His mercies to abound, yet without the heart to extend these qualities to others we are told that forgiveness cannot be ours.

Jesus said, “When you stand praying ,forgive, if you have you have anything against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your transgressions.”

The only way I know how to keep free of any of this is constant communion with the Father with the help from the Holy Spirit (bringing grace and reminding us to seek not our own). It’s always better to deal with heart issues than clean up words spoken.

Denying self is something our flesh will always resist.

Loving others is something the Holy Spirit is always at work perfecting.