I have several of these devices, love most of them, and yet as many things as they do, they can't make my wife love me more, grow hair in my bald spot, or trim two inches off my waist line.
So when we see ads for the newest, latest, best, most fantastic mobile phone, mp3 player, computer, or tablet pc, we are a bit skeptical. We know that a newer and better one is going to come down the marketing pike in a few months. We carry this skepticism with us into our spiritual lives. How can anything measure up to the claims the Bible makes about God?
No one in the Bible has a higher view of God than Isaiah. His claims and expectations of God are over-the-top. The beauty of his descriptions of God, his high and lofty view of God, his understanding of God's holiness coupled with God's willingness to be involved in humanity's messes is unparalleled. Yet Isaiah's encounter with God more than lived up to his expectations!
The reality of God was far beyond any hype Isaiah could have imagined. In fact, Isaiah's encounter with God left him grasping for words to describe God's magnificence and grace. This encounter with God helps us understand what it means to LIVE_holy (Isaiah 6:1-8). To live holy means:
- We recognize God's majesty shared with us — Isaiah 6:1-4
- We accept God's mercy lavished upon us — Isaiah 6:5-7
- We embrace God's mission accomplished through us Isaiah 6:8
In our church community, we have several families that have gone to extraordinary efforts to have children — some through physical birth and some through adoption. And while we recognize that every single child is precious, there are some amazing stories to tell about the sacrifice of these parents to bring special children into their families.
We love these special children enormously. We love our own children beyond what words can say. Yet as much as we love our children, we know that God loves us more and has sacrificed far more to make us a part of his family. So we understand God's call to LIVE_holy is not made to limit us or hurt us or deny us life. Instead, it is a call to realize how precious we are to God and God's great purpose for our lives.
To Live_holy is much more than keeping a list of "do's" and avoiding a list of "don'ts"! It is not something we do to earn or merit God's love and mercy. Instead, to LIVE_holy is a response to the majesty of God within us and the mercy of God lavished upon us. To LIVE_holy is to recognize the grace we have received and to respond by living out God's mission, God's Kingdom lifestyle, in our broken world. Our purpose is to reflect God's righteous character and gracious compassion in our lives!
The world doesn't need, nor does it want, any more religious hype, but it desperately needs us to LIVE_holy!