During my class the last couple Saturdays, we have been talking about holiness and what that means to our denomination, our churches, and ourselves. I have been so intrigued to see how God has been shaping my view of holiness from what it used to be. As most of you probably know, our church is a holiness church and we believe that we are to live lives that are holy. When I was younger, I didn’t quite get that. I didn’t understand what the term holiness meant and I always thought it meant I had to do everything “right” and I couldn’t sin and if I did I was in A LOT of trouble. During this class, God has definitely been working on my heart to show me that holiness isn’t just doing the right things, but it is living a life of LOVE. To do this, it does require a heart change. How easy is it to look at someone who has hurt you over and over and still love them? How easy is it to see the marginalized, and love them the way you love yourself? How easy is it to know someone’s past of self-destruction, and destruction of others and still love them? Not that easy, huh? Here’s the kicker, the holiness movement, and the Old and New Testament shows us that we are to LOVE no matter what. Love is the greatest commandment and it requires work. It requires our hearts to see past the hurt, past the pain, and love them how God loves them.
As we go on this week, I challenge you and myself to look at who I am not loving. Who am I holding things against and not loving? Are you willing to live a life of holiness and change your heart and love them? I pray that I am, that we are as a church, and that we are as a denomination!
1 John 4:16-19 NLT
“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.”