Uncomfortable (S1) - Day 17

Matthew 5:43-48
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’  and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect
Love.

I don’t think that we can overestimate what Jesus thinks of Love and how we are to love. But how is love connected to the idea of being holy? Are these two things connected.

The short answer is “Yes.”
The long answer is “Yes, of course!”

Love is the measure of our holiness. Love is the measure of our willingness to be obedient to God by following his commands. Every command leads to love. And when Jesus was pressed as to what the greatest commandment was, his answer was that we love God and love one another. (John 13:34)

So when we talk about holiness, we are not just talking about moralizing. In fact, when we diminish holiness to just be about the moral decisions we make, we bifurcate the idea of holiness from the idea of love. And this is something that we should never do. To separate love and holiness is to allow some very dangerous things to happen.

Often, Christians are accused of being less than loving. They are seen as judgmental, as easily offended, and very divisive in their understanding of the world and the people in it. In fact, we just saw a church, who has decided to plant in one of the largest cities in the world send flyers out that basically said that they were coming to save the city because it was nothing more than a demonic den of iniquity. I wonder how the people in that think about the church that is trying to be planted there?

Love is not to be diminished, and it is the outcome of holiness, the requirement of holiness, and the hope of holiness. Without love, your right actions, your moral choices, and your great intentions fall on deaf ears or are clanging cymbals.

So, if holiness requires love, does love require holiness?

That is an interesting question. I think it works like this: When we seek to love with greater impact and influence we find ourselves seeking holiness in a different way than we had before. Rather than seeking holiness for love, love begins to demand holiness to be real, authentic, and effective. So love begets holiness, and holiness is the outcome of greater and greater love.

Together, these things are a powerful one-two punch of what God wants to see expressed into the world. And we all have the ability to do it. If you are worried about being holy, begin with love and see where it takes you!

Question: 

  1. How long have you tried to be holy? 
  2. What would holiness look like in your life? 
  3. How can you seek to love more, and what would that be expressed as in your life? 

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Phat Panda - February 28th, 2023 at 11:24pm

Colossians 3:12-14

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