I get so much from old Western TV shows and movies that inspire these blog posts. (Culturally outdated, indeed!) The latest one, featured a wagon train of approx. 300 people traveling to California. A husband and wife join up with the train part way through the trip. When some of the women on said train find out the new arrival wife was a dance hall girl, they snub her and give her the cold shoulder. They tell the wagon master that he needs to kick this couple off the train, as it is not right to have people like “them” traveling with decent folks. He doesn’t do it, and when the rest of story comes out, and the women finally accept and help this young woman.
But their initial reaction is one of having a holier than thou attitude. Defined it is when someone’s pride is displayed through words or actions because they consider themselves better or more moral than other people, based on their own standards of judgment.
As Christians, we do live according to different standards than the world, because when we accepted Jesus, we were set apart from the world. He tells us that we need to be holy, because He is holy. (Lev. 11:44, 1 Pet. 1:16)
Frankly, I don’t know about you, but that sounds impossible for me to accomplish under my own power! I know, I’ve tried and failed miserably, time and time again.
But there is Good News!
We can be holy, because when we were born again with Jesus, he sealed us with His Holy Spirit, who lives inside us. We can be holy, because the Holy Spirit is holy! It’s in His name!
“So then, prepare your hearts and minds for action! Stay alert and fix your hope firmly on the marvelous grace that is coming to you. For when Jesus Christ is unveiled, a greater measure of grace will be released to you. As God’s obedient children, never again shape your lives by the desires you followed when you didn’t know better. Instead, shape your lives to become like the Holy One who called you. For Scripture says: ‘You are to be holy, because I am holy.’ Since you call on him as your heavenly Father, the impartial Judge who judges according to each one’s works, live each day with holy awe and reverence throughout your time on earth.” (1 Peter 1:13-17 [TPT])
The footnote for this section says, “Everything about God is holy, True holiness includes justice, mercy, truth, and righteousness. To be holy is to be absolutely devoted to God in all that we do, demonstrating who he is to the world. Holiness surrounds God’s throne and we are seated with him in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6) The Hebrew concept of holiness is ‘set apart’; that is, we are a people set apart for God, even as God is set apart from all gods. Grace has embedded holiness into our lives, yet we are to make right choices and to yield to Christ and God’s Word as the Holy Spirit lives in us. Holiness is not merely actions we perform, but what we absorb and manifest as we live our lives in God’s presence. Christ is our holiness. (1 Cor. 1:30)”
“Instead be filled continually with the Holy Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18b)
“You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. He has given it to us like an engagement ring, as the first installment of what’s coming! He is our hope-promise of a future inheritance which seals us until we have all of redemption’s promises and experience complete freedom—all for the supreme glory and honor of God.” (Eph 1:13-14 [TPT])
“He will change you into a holy people dedicated to himself; this he has promised to do if you will only obey him and walk in his ways.” (Deut. 28:9 [TLB])
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” (1 John 5:1) That means born of the Spirit and possessing the Spirit.
“It’s who you are and the way you live that counts before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (John 4:23-24 [MSG])
I don’t want to live my life like the “God fearing, decent woman” on the wagon train who thought she was better than someone else. I choose to live instead, as a woman who loves God so much and knows He is the only True Judge. It’s not up to me to decide, I don’t have it in me to judge someone else accurately, that’s God’s job. Everyone always has a back story behind them. If I live with the Holy Spirit guiding me, I can dig deeper and find out what that story is and see if I can do something to help, instead of judge. Because everyone has gone through something. No one is immune.
Like the dance hall girl on the wagon train. Her parents were killed when she was a teenager, and she was all alone in the world, with no one to care for her. She got the only “job” she could so she could in order to survive. I’m sure it would not have been her choice of profession had her parents remained alive.
I daily ask God’s Spirit to make me holy like He is holy, so that I may be transformed to be more like Jesus.
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