If we could be continually aware of the holiness of God, the contrast between who He is in His holiness, and who we are, in ourselves, would just in itself, compel us to worship Him. There is no hesitation, no question as to whether it is appropriate. Nothing else is appropriate. The response is immediate. The difference between God and ourselves is immense, truly beyond, what I believe, the human mind can comprehend.
And yet, in spite of that contrast that defies description, equally astounding, is the love of God that flows towards us who believe in Him. As God emulates Holiness, so does He emulate love. The two are inseparable. Once again, truly beyond what I believe, the human mind can comprehend.
The thing is, I am not continually aware of His Holiness nor of His love. Sometimes I get a taste of it, a snippet if you will, but the material, that which is physical is constant and the reality of His majesty, clothed in Holiness and emulating love, is oftentimes fleeting. That does not mean that God’s Holiness and love is not there, just that I am not always aware of it. The only thing that I can liken it to is the love a husband has for his wife or a wife for her husband. A husband knows that he loves his wife but there are times when the reality of that love transcends the normal day to day affection and the value and worth of the love between man and wife is known for what it is, the bonding of two individuals into one and there is no replacement for that love, it is beyond caring, it just is.
But even here, in the love that a husband can have for his wife, or a wife for her husband, these insights into the worth and value of love are oftentimes fleeting also, they are not constant, yet the reality is still there. And I can’t help but think that the marriage between a man and a woman are meant by God to show us of the reality and worth of God’s Holiness and love. In God’s Holy Word, God tells us that He is the husband and His bride is the body of all believers.
And here is the difficult part. God tells us that He is Holy and He tells us that we are to be Holy too. And God also tells us that He loves us and that we are to love Him too, with all of our heart, soul and mind.
And what is it that we learn as we read through God’s Word and travel through this gift of life really fast? We learn that we can’t be Holy like God is Holy and we learn that we can’t love like God asks us to love. This applies not only to God but also to those with whom we say we love. Sometimes our love for self, gets in the way of our love for those whom we say we love.
My wife and I have this magnet on our fridge which states the following: “I love you more today that I did yesterday, yesterday you really got on my nerves!”
That’s the difference between God’s love towards us and our love towards one another and towards God. Our love can change in degrees from one day to the next but God’s love is constant. His love does not change. There is no variance in God’s Holiness, no degrees in God’s love, towards those who seek to follow and do His will.
But here’s another difficult part. Our righteousness does not equate to God’s righteousness. What we consider as being righteous does not tally up with what God equates as being righteous. “My ways are not your ways and my thoughts are not your thoughts”, God Says. And when it comes to being righteous as God is righteous, once again we fall short because God’s Word also tells us that there is none that are righteous (as per God’s righteousness), no not one. So, try as we might, we are going to continue to fall short because the difference between who God is and who we are is too great for us to bridge. So, if we are left to our own devices we are in a bit of a hurt locker. We have a problem that we in ourselves cannot fix, no matter how hard we try.
And here is where the Good News and God’s love comes into play. I am sure you have heard it said before that God’s Holiness and God’s love meet together at the cross. We could not fix this problem so God did for us, what we in and of ourselves could not do. He sent us His Son, who was without sin, unblemished, to perfectly fulfill God the Father’s will on our behalf (God’s righteousness), so that if we believed in Him, His Son, and the Father who sent Him, His (Jesus’) righteousness would become our righteousness, in the eyes of our heavenly Father. Jesus paid the consequences that our shortfalls or our unrighteousness demanded, in that He laid down His life to die on our behalf so that we who believe in Him, could rise again and live in Him, because of His indwelling Holy Spirit within us. And you know that John 3:16-20 fits perfectly here.
What follows next is the sanctification process, (Hebrews 10:14 NIV) where we are changed daily into His image. This is where the picking up one’s cross happens, where dying to self happens, where what I call the the layers of the onion start to materialize (come to our awareness) and layer by layer of ourselves is made known to us and through faith in Christ, is eroded away. I honestly don’t think we comprehend the difference between God and ourselves, even after we call on His Name as our Lord and Saviour. This is where the reality of that difference makes itself known in ways that we did not even know existed. Some days it is one step forward and two steps back, but the thing is, you don’t stop. You pick yourself up, confess your shortfall and keep walking towards that goal, just like the Apostle stated in Philippians 3:7-16 NASB
”But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ.More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature, let’s have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that to you as well; however, let’s keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” (Emphasis mine)
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!