Sunday, February 17, 2013

2/18/13 by Tom Brown

A Holy Focus

“…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; heaven and earth are full of His glory”.  (Isaiah 6:3)  How can we focus our lives on being holy?  There are people in our society such as a priest or spiritual leader who may be labeled as “holy”.  However, as we have learned from the news lately, they are as blemished and sinful as the rest of us.  Is it possible for us to be holy?  Is holiness simply to wear a priest’s vestment or monk’s habit and walk around humming all day?  Is holiness to live without sin?  Of course, the second answer is, “no”.  However, the first and last questions may not be as easy for us.  We can be holy, but living without sin is only a secondary consequence to our active pursuit of holiness.

We are sometimes taught as children not to live for the approval of our parents but instead to be proud of our own accomplishments and behavior.  This may be helpful as we seek an identity in the world around us.  However, the opposite is true in our relationship with Our Heavenly Father.  He wants us to live for His approval; to be concerned with what He thinks and to seek to make Him proud as His children.  Therefore, holiness is the desire to please God.  Peter talks about holiness and our responsibility to it in 1 Peter 1:13-16.  I invite you to read Peter’s words for yourself.

Instead of the usual deprivation of a perceived vice or guilty pleasure this Lent, focus on pleasing your Heavenly Father.  The hymn text, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen Lemmel, helps us to understand the results of being God-focused in our holiness.  If you take joy in seeking His approval, then the desire to sin will “grow strangely dim”.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face;
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

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