By Richard Pelfrey
Most of my friends don’t read the blog. I don’t even try to get them to read it anymore. In a way it’s cool. I have them and I have you guys, separately. I do have one friend down here who takes an interest in these little columns though. In response to the post on Holiness, he suggested that a part two was justifiable; people (me) should need to know how to be Holy or to walk with the Holiness of God inside of us. Here it goes Barry:
If we have the holiness of God inside of us, then we should expect to resemble God in our lives at least a little bit, right?. But how? We can’t begin to approach the big three: omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. In the words of John Donne “no man is an island, entire of itself”, so I’m not sovereign. I’m not supposed to take revenge, so I can’t be wrath. I am definitely “mutable”…so how, in the face of such an awesome commandment by God for us to be Holy, can we do that?!?
It’s LOVE. The Bible says that God is (among other things) love. Paul says without love we are nothing, Jesus says to “love one another”. John Lennon said “all you need is love” (ok that maybe doesn’t fit, but I gotta shout out to my boys at least once). 1 Peter 4:8 says “Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” OK, but what is love? What do you have to do (beyond saying “i love you” to people”) to have love and be love and love deeply?
God says “if you love Me you will obey Me”. So there’s a start. But obviously none of us obey God fully all of the time, and He knows this. This is where His love comes into play. Our love for Him begins when we start trying to humble ourselves and seek His face and follow His commandments, and then when we mess up He loves us by forgiving us.
There’s this song that says we only hurt the ones we love. It says “if I broke your heart last night, it’s because I love you”.Love is an investment. It’s a decision to make oneself vulnerable to all kinds of pain in exchange for the opportunity to do something for someone. Think about it. We don’t really get our feelings hurt by acquaintances, but we get our hearts broken by parents, children, best friends and lovers. We open ourselves up to betrayal for the possibility of something wonderful. Sometimes we may become enamored with people for a while and then we see their “warts”, the things that are not so likeable about them. When we choose to love somebody, we choose all of them – warts and all – because we can see the beauty at their core.
I believe God is the ultimate example of this. “for God so loved the world….” that He gave up His only son. Not just gave up, but watched without acting as he was bet up, ridiculed, spat upon, nailed to a tree, and laughed at some more. He did this just in the chance that some of us would appreciate it and love Him back, and when we do we get to be in His pure and Holy Love for eternity. He took a chance with the world, and it brings Him pain every day. His heart breaks daily; when we mock him and spit in His face by hating each other, disobeying Him, or acting like He isn’t even there. Our father Loves the world so much that he opens Himself up to this pain, in the hope that some of us will receive Him. He loves our flaws.
It’s the ones we love the most whom we hurt. Let’s choose to love God the most. He can handle the pain and will forgive us, not if but when we let Him down. We choose to love people despite their warts, just as it is a choice to love God and “be joyful always”, whatever He causes to happen in our lives. We continue to love Him no matter what storm is raging on the outside of our lives, and we love each other deeply through joy and pain.
John wrote that “if anyone obeys His Word, God’s love is truly in Him”. So it’s our love for God that brings us into righteousness. We open our hearts to whatever He has for us, and he gives us the power to obey Him. It is through this righteousness which springs from love that God’s Holiness is shown in us.
Peace and Love, Lifters.