Archives For holiness

There’s only one crown in my household, and I wear it. I will not share. Nobody’s allowed to touch it. It is mine to boast of and wear proudly.

For some husbands, their crown is buried under empty soda cans and candy wrappers on the floor of their truck. Some only wear it at home but hang it up in the closet when they leave for work or to hang with the guys. I fear many husbands can’t don a crown because they don’t have one. And others have one, but haven’t recognized it.

But not me. Mine rests upon my head day and night, no matter where I may go. Some ask about it and I am all to glad to brag about every intricate detail and jewel. So spare me a few moments as I elaborate.

My crown represents selflessness. Not just a duty, but a desire to put others first. A servant’s heart that longs for the well-being of others above their own. A passion to go beyond the normal expectancies to fulfill every need possible.

It stands for love. Not a scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours kind of love. But one that cares for friends, family, and even an enemy. One motivated by self-sacrifice and devotion.

On the crown gleams jewels of joy. That even in the midst of chaos and confusion, a song of praise is sung. One that can smile through adversity and shatter walls of despair and sorrow. It represents a confidence that life is good no matter the circumstances.

It boasts about faith. An ever growing reliance on Almighty God. A belief that what He says will be and who He is will never change. A trust in the Lord for every decision and doubt. A lifestyle that pleases God.

It shines faithfulness. Eyes that never dart to the right or left. A devotion to one that never wavers or falters. One who is awed by the Lord’s commitment to them and vows to do the same in their relationships. Never entertaining imaginations of disloyalty.

It is a crown of wisdom. Not just knowing right and wrong, but the absolute desire to please God with every movement. The ability to discern between the works of God and demons. One that understands their role and purpose and seeks to do it well. Is slow to speak, yet quick to listen. But when speaking, blesses those who hear.

And finally, it portrays a brilliance of holiness. This isn’t merely abstaining from sin, but despising everything contrary to God. It’s a rightful understanding of who one is and to what kingdom they belong. Its a satisfaction with the Lord and a life that resembles His Son.

crown

This is my treasure, my crown. I wear it unashamed. It is a gift and one that deserves recognition.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.
Proverbs 12:4a

I love you, Danielle. Keep shining.

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Opponents pack council meeting to decry nude Missoula bike ride.

This headline sparked massive interest in my local newspaper. Many comments degraded those who rallied against this citywide event. They mocked those trying to protect their children by saying, “Why protect them? They’re gonna see it sometime anyway. Plus, we were all born this way!”

The “highly anticipated” movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, based off the best-selling novel, is causing a stir. Described as erotic and “porn for moms”, it climbed to the top because of its graphic sexual descriptions.

One of the #1 shows on Netflix, Orange is the New Black, follows a women’s prison inmate and her relationships with a boyfriend, girlfriend, and fellow inmates. Graphic nudity showers this tale with deep roots in lesbianism.

I could go on and on how our culture is immunizing itself against purity through music, literature, television, and more. But the question is, Is it really  harmful? As Christians, can we dabble in these activities and still be OK?

Simply, the answer is “No.” In long, here’s why:

1. We have been made pure by the blood of Christ

God has made it abundantly clear.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 ESV

God, in His endless love for mankind, couldn’t leave us in the mess we created. Sin separated us from our Creator and the only way to restore the relationship was by a perfect, eternal sacrifice. So He stepped down into His creation and offered Himself as the redemptive payment we desperately needed. If one believes in Christ, His sacrifice and resurrection, he his made a new creation. No longer is he dead in sin and impure in God’s eyes, but Christ’s righteousness and purity is imputed onto him.

So if we are forgiven and pure in God’s eyes, why can’t we just sin and rely on grace? The apostle Paul was asked the same thing.

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?
By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
Romans 6:1-2 ESV

Our salvation through Christ ALWAYS leads to righteousness. To sin as a new created being is going against the very nature God made us to be. Holiness is eternal as a momentary titillation is temporary and costly.

2. Impurity offends God

When my children deliberately disobey me, it not only angers me, but hurts deeply. These children that I’ve loved and sacrificed for go against my rules because they think they know what is better for themselves.

How much more is God pained when we knowingly sample the world’s treasures at the expense of his glory? Jesus, being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross, tasted the wrath of the Father so we would no longer be under His righteous judgement.

And yet, even though our spirit is alive through the Holy Spirit, our flesh still longs for the carnal ways of our former lives. And when we give in to those temptations, the Spirit is grieved, Jesus is mocked, and our relationship with the Father is severed until we confess our sins.

3. Purity is our testimony

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and PURITY.”
1 Timothy 4:12

Even in the church, purity often sets us apart from the masses. When a believer takes a stand against the sexual perversions of the world, unfortunately they are often looked upon as legalistic or radical among the congregation. But its only because Godly living leaves sinners feeling guilty. Our purity can drive others to be passionate for Christ and commit to holy living as well.

But even bigger still is our testimony to the unbelieving world. Thought of as prude and religious, pure Christians leave their mark on society. People take notice and watch as their walk lines up with their talk. But to participate in impure activities, kills the message of the gospel as people see that Christians are no different and obviously don’t believe what they claim.

4. The pure receive blessings from the Lord

 “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully, he shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Psalm 24:4-5

The Bible often promises blessings for those who are holy, for those who are set apart from the world unto holiness. Eternal joy and peace overflow, an active and powerful prayer life accompanies, and great is their reward.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Matthew 5:8

5. Impurity will hurt you

Paul states in 1 Corinthians, that unlike all other sins, sexual sins are a sin against our own bodies. If you are unaware of the physical consequences of sexual immorality, please research it.

I will only concentrate on the mind and heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Proverbs 4:23 NIV

We may scoff at the idea that watching perverse television or reading sexually explicit content will hurt us at all. For nobody else is affected, and many times, nobody else even knows. But those images and creations that you’ve formed in your heart and mind will resurface. They will affect your thoughts toward sex and the opposite gender. Often times, these activities become habitual, becoming idols that replace God. They haunt us when we strive for holy living later in life.

Purity is not a command from God to keep us from having fun. It is who we are in Christ and should strive to be more everyday. It is a blessing to be pure. Without the redeeming work of Jesus, we would never have the opportunity or ability to be holy. It is a privilege and a treasure we need to protect.

This is the day we as Christians need to stand up together. Keep each other accountable and make a decision to live holy as God is holy. Pray that God will convict your heart and give you a passion to live righteously in this ungodly age. Be pure, church, just as Christ has already made you pure.