Here's a DVO devotion from last year that seeks to explain the meaning of the words "holy" and "sacred" and I think does it rather well.
March 3, 2016
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace... 2 Tim 1:9 (NIV)
Vocation - Part 3
Holy means "sacred and set apart."
Isa 63 says, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory..."
God is holy.
1 Pet 1:15 says, "Now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy."
God wants us to be holy
1 Pet 1:2 "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ."
God has made us holy.
To "sanctify" is the process of being made Holy. Which is what Jesus has done for us - sanctified us. The second part of 2 Tim 1:9 says (MSG), "We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it."
Do we behave holy to be holy? Or are we made holy? Is it 'works based'? Or a work of grace?
There's a tension between living holy and being made holy...
God formed Adam out of dust. Picture His hands scooping up dirt, shaping it, carving out arms and legs, then caressing it until a face formed. Adam remained a beautiful pile of dust until one thing happened: God breathed into him.
The moment that the breath of God connected with this shaped dirt, life ignited within Adam, and he BECAME. It is the breath of God that manifests His holiness to earth. These dust buckets we call bodies are filled with the Holiness and sanctity of the Divine, and it keeps us alive. When we die, the breath leaves our bodies, and they return once again to the dust.
We have more than a connection with God - His breath fills us all, whether we know it or not. But for some, we understand that we have this treasure in "jars of clay"... we understand that we are the temple in which God dwells. (1 Cor 3:16-17). Through Jesus, the ability to become aware of what we have within us is attainable. Through His life, death and resurrection, our blindness is turned to sight, and we are free from the disconnect of the knowledge of the Holy. We can now peer underneath the physicality of life into the realm of the spirit, the divine, the supernatural... God.
This is holy living. Knowing that we are connected to God - acknowledging that He sustains us and holds us together... and in turn, this connects us with one another. It is a sacred and holy knowing. A revelation that is sacred for eternity.
And this awareness, given by grace and received by faith, prompts us to respond with our lives... what do we do with this knowledge? What do you do when you were once blind but can now see?
I've often wondered how it must feel to be a successful Christian recording and touring artist whilst having to deal with the worldly aspects of that life such as marketing, profit margins, contracts, image, media communications, etc... It must be a really delicate balancing act to not let success go to your head when it comes, to keep the focus on the Lord and yet do your best to get your material out there because you believe that God wants you to touch people's hearts and souls through your songs and performances/recordings.
I know that one of my all-time favourite bands, Switchfoot, constantly struggle with this tension. Just listen to their last 3 or 4 albums for numerous examples. Jon Foreman's - and the other band members' - lyrics seem to be a way of working through for themselves the tensions inherent in their career/ministry, calling on themselves to keep the focus on what is right and true, above all on love... love of God, love of their fellow human beings.…
Just finished my annual retreat, this year with 25 other De La Mennais Brothers at the Benedictine monastery of Landévennec in Finistère, Brittany. A time to recharge the batteries, to read, to pray, to reflect, to write, to enjoy the beautiful coastal countryside... to take stock of the past year and to look forward to the future with hope. Today and tomorrow I've 2 days of meetings with our Provincial Council, after which it's back to Liverpool just in time to get ready for Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. Here's a Facebook message from the people at "40 acts" to help us live this Lent in a way that takes the focus away from what we can do for ourselves and towards responding better to the needs of others. "Lent starts this Wednesday! How are you doing it?
We're giving up giving up and giving generously instead. Like & Share if you're joining us and tag in some friends to join the #40acts generosity movement.(Sign up at www.40acts.org.uk to …
The article linked at the bottom of this post was written by the bass player of Switchfoot, Tim Foreman (The band are favourites of mine and there was a Switchfoot song on our Indonesia/Japan tour playlist, "Love Alone Is Worth the Fight”). The band are all mad keen surfers. The article recounts a dramatic experience that Tim had while surfing somewhere that Team Win! now know: Bali, Indonesia! The end of the article is as follows:"... life is meant to be lived. And that means taking risks. We come alive when we step beyond the comforts of what we know. And it’s all too easy to just say “no” to the things that scare us. But who knows what’s waiting for you, beyond the safety of your apartment or your mobile device. Like fire in your veins: rebellion, adventure, the unknown."Congrats to Andy (Rolo), James + Harry for being willing to take a giant step outside of their comfort zones and embrace our Far Eastern adventure with all the encounters and experiences that made i…