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Wholly Holy: Holy Thoughts

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Thoughts

Mary pondered all these things in her heart.

Luke 2:19, 51

begging for chance - business womanTwice in the Book of Luke we’re told Mary pondered  …

Both occurrences followed amazing, wondrous events—certainly worthy of intense scrutiny. In Luke 2:19, following Jesus’ birth, Mary pondered the visit of the shepherds— God’s way of assuring her that this baby conceived by the Holy Spirit was indeed His Son, the promised Messiah. After all, angelic beings had made the announcement. Then, in Luke 2:51, after Jesus had astonished the temple rabbis at age 12, Mary pondered once more her eyewitness seat to history.

But why did Luke record that Mary pondered—not once, but twice? Seemingly, he wanted us to know Mary was a deep thinker, one who sought to discern the ways of God. If we didn’t know this about Mary, we might think she was on autopilot when she accepted the angel’s revelation about the miraculous birth. No, she asked questions and considered the implications. Read Luke 1:34-38.

Afterward, she journeyed to visit Elizabeth and sought counsel. She had many months to consider the approaching birth of Jesus. I’m certain she often pondered the angel’s message, Joseph’s reaction, the townspeople’s gossip, and her engagement.

I feel sure Mary continued to ponder throughout His earthly ministry and as she stood before the cross and the empty tomb. A lifetime would not have been long enough to search out the meaning of all she had seen and heard.

So, may I ask? Have you pondered recently? The reason I ask is that pondering is very time-consuming. It’s not a quick process or even an intriguing thought. Pondering takes contemplation. And who has time for that anymore?

Note to self: Pondering God’s wonders can happen over my kitchen sink, as I walk my dog, while I’m sitting in traffic, or during any other “free space” during the day.

Ask God to help you ponder the thoughts He wants you to dwell on today.

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty

Photo credit: Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Wholly Holy: Holy Character

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Character

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.

1 Corinthians 10:31, HCSB

hair_dryerThis morning I sat picking lint out of my hair dryer. I can’t remember doing this during my years as a working wife and mother. So why am I bothering with it now? Don’t I have better things to do? After all, wasn’t Jesus constantly about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49)?

Did Jesus do His own laundry? Did He take time to cook? I remember that one day He prepared breakfast for His disciples (John 21:9-12). Who prepared the bread He ate or repaired His sandals?

What do the seemingly endless daily tasks of life have to do with the kingdom of God? And why do I feel they are somehow less than what I should be accomplishing for Christ? Why? Because I live out of the misconception that doing counts for more than being.

Maybe you feel like that. You may be swiping at little runny noses and changing diapers. Or sitting in your car while the soccer practice goes on and on. Perhaps you are caring for a relative’s illness, changing bed sheets and washing pj’s. Some of you are permanent caregivers for elderly parents or aunts or uncles. You wipe drool and repeat the answers to questions that have been asked only moments before.

God’s Word assures us that life’s main purpose is to develop Christ’s character and the mind of Christ. Our attitudes are to become more like His. (See Phil. 2:5, 1 Pet. 2:21.) The fruit of the spirit passage doesn’t imply a single action that wouldn’t first grow out of who we are (Gal. 5:22).

Maybe picking the lint in my dryer isn’t the most important thing in the world, but I did learn a little more patience. This week ask God to rub some rough edges off a character trait that you want Him to chisel into your life.

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty

Wholly Holy: Holy Dependence

The word holy has a bad reputation today. A holy-roller is “holier-than-thou.” Holy is placed before any and all exclamations: Holy cow! Holy smoke! Holy malarkey!

Yet in the Bible, we come to know a holy God. Peter said, “as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet. 1:15, HCSB).

The English origin of our word holy is “whole.” To be “whole” is to be complete or mature. Can we aspire to be wholly whole, or wholly holy? This week let’s determine ways to be wholly holy in dependence, character, thoughts, speech, and actions.

 

Holy Dependence

You are my hiding place. You will protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.

Psalm 32:7

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????God is my safe place.

Recently my husband Sim and I were on our way to church dinner one Wednesday evening. I was supposed to “man” a display booth outside of fellowship hall. Our plan was for Sim to eat, then relieve me at the booth, and I would eat.

All’s well that goes well, right? Our car rounded a curve on the interstate and WHOP! Sim veered to the left but couldn’t avoid hitting a piece of metal in our lane. Not able to change lanes due to the traffic, he really had no choice but to run over the object.

Whatever it was got stuck under the car beneath the driver’s side. The left front tire would no longer turn, and we skidded to a stop just inches off the stripe at the edge of the road.

On the passenger’s side (that would be me), cars whizzed around the curve, having no warning that there we sat. On the driver’s side, a sixteen-foot wall of rock kept us from moving the car any further off the highway. Did I mention a similar rock wall was on the other side of the three lanes of traffic?

Sim yelled for me to get out of the car. What? Climb over the console in the middle of the front seat? Sheer terror helps one to overcome obstacles! Once outside, we had no protection. If a car rounded the corner with a distracted driver, we’d be squashed like the proverbial bug between the car and the rock wall.

But Sim led me to a literal cleft in the rock, where we huddled until two road assistance vehicles appeared behind our car. One driver put up lane closure signs while the other jacked our car and retrieved the metal object. “Drive off,” he shouted as he hurried back to his van. Did I mention the temperature was in the 20s?

We couldn’t wait to share with our Christian friends that God had provided a safe place for us and hidden us there in His hands. Strange how when God is all we have, God is all we need!

That same sense of dependence is the key to being wholly holy. Only the Spirit can accomplish in us all that God intends. He needs our cooperation—not our competition! This week, ask the Spirit to quell that spirit of rebellion that is in each of us and give us a “dose” of reliance on Him. After all, He’s the one who has promised everything we need for godliness (1 Pet. 1:3).

Seeking to be wholly holy,

Betty

Photo credit: rock wall: ID 1012043 © Dianne Mcfadden | Dreamstime.com