GodReflection: Is Grace Still Amazing?
Only God knows how television impacts my soul over a lifetime. I date back to its rollout years.
It did not take long for church pulpits to warn with fiery discourse of the Devil’s descent down the first roof antennas into every home in North American. There was probably more truth than fiction in the warning.
The year of my birth the first television station west of the Mississippi River opened in Hollywood, California. Just a few thousand homes in the USA owned TV sets. The number jumped to 350,000 the year after my birth and four years later, 16.9 million sets influenced and entertained families.
Over the next four decades television moved from novelty to norm.
Then came the internet explosion. Light-years beyond the television now an open broadcast platform is available to all. With the addition of the Smart Phone, I now must keep Satan from breaking into my shirt pocket.
New antennas are hidden but still connect to our lives. Thus, instant good or bad with its mass production of greed, corruption and evil blatantly comes with the flip of a switch.
It is easy to look out my own proverbial window and see what appears to be a landscape dominated by evil. Certainly, there does not seem to be an abundance of holy on the political spectrum, the airways, within the entertainment industry, or in the rush of life. Daily, we bump shoulders and fenders with humankind—whatever happened to Holy?
Yet, the truth is the present generation wasn’t the inventor of unholiness. It has marched in constant proliferation since Eden.
Perhaps, I should ask a more basic question. “What is holy?” And quickly a follow up question comes to mind. “Why do Father, Son, and Spirit want me to obtain it?”
Holy is what or who God defines Himself to be. Holy is God’s self-proclaimed identity. “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Rev 4:8) is how the angels in John’s vision describe Creator God.
From what I can tell, God’s highest and most ardent desire for each person who walks on this earth is holy cultivation. God wants me to be holy. How is that even possible?
Holiness—when defined as God—is beyond my reach. The reality is without submission to Jesus and the residence of the Holy Spirit in my soul, to be holy is not possible. My life contains the ever present “log in my eye.” I don’t like to see how much space I allow for unholy presence space in my own life.
True, the created cannot become the creator. Yet, I still am faced with God’s request: “Be holy as I am Holy” (Lev:19:2). In short, it seems God’s—Father, Son, and Spirit—desire is for each one of us to take on his image. To reflect his holiness is God’s aim for his children.
Just what is this Holy that seems so hard to mirror? Paul the apostle identifies the concept with a simple description. He calls it fruit:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other (Galatians 5: 22,23,25,26).
The apostle John after a three-year internship with Jesus and a revelation from the Holy, lived a fruit-filled life into old age. He tells us the Holy can be seen in Jesus who came to reveal God as grace and truth. (I will reflect more on grace and truth in a later post).
If I want to be holy, I must reflect Jesus who reflects God. That is to take on and mirror his love, peace, and goodness. Each day I must increase in gentleness and self-control.
In a culture of violence where lies are the norm, I must address others with kindness and patience. In a climate where mankind assumes final authority and the stranger is suspect, Jesus asks me to live with joy. Faithfully, I am to make it a point each day to walk in step with the Spirit of the Holy.
I find one more insight when I read Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship (Romans12:1).
When I tie Paul’s two lessons together could it be that spiritual fruit equals my body—my all—that God desires as my daily sacrificial gift to him?
Don’t you think if each one of us were to lay our gift of the fruit of the Spirit at his feet each day; Holy God would become more visible in our world?
And, as a result—Holy would become more apparent?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Whatever Happened to Holy?