For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 1:9
Sometimes I wonder if too much of my writing comes in response to the Bible-study groups I’m a part of. This includes Wednesday evenings with one of the men’s groups, my Sunday discipleship class, then the small group of guys who meet together every Saturday morning. Plus, of course, the excellent preaching and teaching I get to enjoy during worship. And, daily, scripture and devotion with Rebekah, over breakfast.
But the answer is, “These experiences are crucial, transformative, and certainly worth sharing.” Because it’s in the context of meeting together, the sharing of ideas and stories, prayer, encouragement, and accountability, the essential “doing life together” aspect of church, where I learn so much, where my spirit is quickened, and where the truth comes to rest – beginning to ease into my consciousness. Most of the learning – and consequent growth – that takes place in my life of faith happens not in isolation but in community.
That – I believe – is worth repeating: Most of the learning – and consequent growth – that takes place in my life of faith happens not in isolation but in community.
So this morning we continued our conversation about holiness, exploring the idea that the challenge to “be holy” is as much a question of doing as of being.
But there is an important relationship between being and doing. I’ve heard religion in general criticized as a waste of resources that could otherwise be used to help people in need; but there is a direct correlation between worship and charitable generosity. The evidence demonstrates that people who cultivate a relationship with the Creator invest more of their time and resources in taking care of the creation.
In other words, the deepening of holiness in terms of our focus on, and worship of, God invariably finds its voice in acts of holiness in relation to the way that we live.
The challenge to “be holy” is as much a question of doing as of being.
Holiness then, is both an intention of spirit and a discipline of behavior.
Something to think about – DEREK