This morning, Scott spoke from the pulpit about holiness. As the second-to-last message in our series about who God is, Scott threw down the gauntlet in encouraging–and urging–the people of Eastridge to raise the bar in our pursuit of holiness. This past Tuesday, the challenge was laid down to the staff to grow in holiness, in anticipation of today’s message. We believe it is what will take the church to the next level…neither people, nor numbers, nor budgets, nor buildings, but the genuine, earnest pursuit of becoming more like Christ.
Of course, we’ve all heard that the word holy means “set apart,” and that’s true, but, as Scott said this morning, the distillation of what holiness refers to is the totality of God’s character…in essence what makes God unique, thus, “set apart.” We’re called to be holy, just like God is holy (1 Peter 1:16, Leviticus 11:44, Leviticus 20:7*), but our problem with this is our mindset and the fact that, steeped in sin, we continue to sin even though we know better than to do so (Romans 7*). God gives us the Holy Spirit to remedy this mindset and allow us to bear the fruit that makes us more like Him (Galatians 5:22-23*). As a result of having the Holy Spirit, we should have the desire to strive to be holy.
It was a heavy-hitting message. Having heard the “preview” on Tuesday, seen the outline as I printed it and made the Power Point, and finally hearing it this morning, I have begun to wonder: how holy am I, truly? It’s not a legalistic pursuit, and it’s not something that can be strictly quanitified or measured, but I know for sure that I’ve felt the pull to be holy more over the last five days than I ever have before in my 28 years of being a Christian.
Am I going to mess up? You bet…just watch me.
Am I going to fall short? Absolutely…probably more than I want to.
No pursuit or struggle toward holiness is going to prevent me from being human. But I want to press on, try hard, and work diligently toward being at least a little more like Christ every day. Hopefully, everyone who heard today’s message feels the same way about holiness as I do right now.
*I combined some of the scriptures from today’s outline with some others from my own study and experience…