Thursday, 16 July 2020

What Is Holiness?

Scripture:  Ephesians 3 v 14 - 19:  "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."

Many people consider holiness to be observed in people who go about with a constant serious expression, carrying their Bible visibly, and being a holy saint.  However, the true meaning is of a person who has been selected by God for whatever task or purpose He has for them, and for that person to do it to his or her best.  To the glory of God, and no credit to themselves.

The scripture verses from Ephesians above are the necessary elements we would have, or achieve through our obedience and submission to the will of our Father.

Out of His glorious riches, all spiritual as He is a Spirit, He will strengthen our spirits, which are seated in Christ in Heaven already, with His power.  This will cause our souls to be filled with love, light and understanding to comprehend to utter depths of the love of Jesus for all humanity so that we may have the fullness of God, meaning that we inherit all things from Him.

When we are filled with His love we will begin to understand how a 20 year old woman could get on a ship in 1966, in Southampton bound for Hong Kong, convince the authorities to allow her in because she had been invited by Jesus Christ, her sponsor, to help people there.

She began her ministry in the opium dens of Hong Kong, taking one addict at a time and cleaning them up, inside and out, giving them love and a home, food and a purpose.  She was so successful that a Triad boss confronted her as he was trying unsuccessfully to get his addicts back, and she convinced him to let her have more of them.  Her name is Jackie Pullinger and her book 'Chasing the Dragon' is a powerful true story.

She still lives dangerously among criminals but she is altogether holy.  She does the task assigned to her and is still astonished at how God manages it all.  She still holds meetings at Carpenter Street, Kowloon City, three times a week.

"In the centre for recovering drug addicts run by the St Stephen’s Society in Sha Tin, about 20 Chinese men of various ages stand in a circle singing gospel songs. The youngest, wearing pyjamas and a coat, sits on a sofa hunched over his songbook, looking pained. He is in the first stages of withdrawal.

A middle-aged man puts his arm around his shoulder, offering solace.

The men are the latest among the thousands of Hongkongers that Briton Jackie Pullinger has helped quit drugs without the use of medication since she arrived in the city, by boat, in 1966. They may not succeed initially, she says, but once they have fully accepted Jesus’ help they become “like a newborn baby”, starting their lives afresh."

She is just one of hundreds of thousands who have answered the call to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them all things that Jesus taught the first followers 2000 years ago.  This is what holiness is.  Carrying out God's instructions and seeing a harvest of souls.

God's desire is for souls to be saved.  He sent His Son to die for souls to be saved.  Our Father filled us with love for the unlovely, for sinners, for lost causes like addicts, for unbelievers and even really evil people.

Isaiah 55 v 6 - 9: "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 
8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

So Heaven's doors are open to every unholy person on the planet, who will enter through repentance and the cleansing of sin through the Blood of Jesus.  Their names will be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and they will be made holy.  

The window of opportunity is coming to a close with the soon return of Jesus to meet His Body, the church, in the Rapture.  Let us realise that God is depending on us to tell people about salvation, and Jesus will respond and begin the process.  If we do or say nothing then many will die never knowing Jesus.

Today's blog is to exhort each reader to holiness, to extend the Kingdom of God in whatever way possible.  If we can make Jesus real to someone every day or once a week, that is a seed sown that can grow into another disciple whose name is written on the roll up yonder.

We can't all be Jackie Pullinger, but we can be a message of hope in these days of pandemic, despair, loss of jobs, hunger, mismanagement of disaster, and much fear.  Use what you have to be holy for Jesus.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we need to pull together in unity of purpose and pour out Your love on whatever souls are put within our reach. Let it be poured out upon everyone reading this and ignite their hearts with holiness to keep it flowing until the whole world knows that Jesus is alive.  We love You Father.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.