Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14.
No one who claims holiness is really holy. Those who are registered as holy in the books of heaven are not aware of the fact, and are the last ones to boast of their own goodness.
It is not a conclusive evidence that a man is a Christian because he manifests spiritual ecstasy under extraordinary circumstances. Holiness is not rapture: it is an entire surrender of the will to God; it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God; it is doing the will of our heavenly Father; it is trusting God in trial, in darkness as well as in the light; it is walking by faith and not by sight; it is relying on God with unquestioning confidence, and resting in His love.
No one can be omnipotent, but all can cleanse themselves from filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. God requires every soul to be pure and holy. We have hereditary tendencies to wrong. This is a part of self that no one need carry about. It is a weakness of humanity to pet selfishness, because it is a natural trait of character. But unless all selfishness is put away, unless self is crucified, we can never be holy as God is holy. There is in humanity a tendency to suspicious imagining, which circumstances quicken into lively growth. If this trait is indulged, it spoils the character and ruins the soul.
God requires moral perfection in all. Those who have been given light and opportunities should, as God’s stewards, aim for perfection, and never, never lower the standard of righteousness to accommodate inherited and cultivated tendencies to wrong. Christ took upon Him our human nature, and lived our life, to show us that we may be like Him…. We ought to be holy even as God is holy; and when we comprehend the full significance of this statement, and set our heart to do the work of God, to be holy as He is holy, we shall approach the standard set for each individual in Christ Jesus.
The Faith I Live By p.140
—-Wes is up at Strong Tower Radio the next few days recording multiple talks. He’s asking his friends to please pray for God’s leading! Marion
““We need a lot of prayer. We are with a young woman in our church who is being constantly possessed by Satan. . . . The girl’s name is Daniela.” Briana
—-I need prayer for an interview to go well, and for my unemployment benefits to go through. Thanks Ann
From the age of 10, my grandfather spent very little time at home. He had decided that living the life of a hobo was preferable to a home with an abusive father. He would come home periodically, however, as he loved his dear mother and wanted her to know that he was all right. The rest of the time, he lived off what fish he could catch and wild edibles. He often traveled up and down the east coast of the USA by riding on a train, not as a paying passenger, but hidden away in a boxcar. He met many interesting characters who taught him ways of survival that he needed to know.
Riding the rails was a very dangerous way to travel even in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. One day, the railroad company hired a man to catch all the hobos who were riding for free. This man was large and looked very tough and all the men who road the rails were afraid of him. This man’s reputation grew and grew with the telling. By this time my grandfather was a tough teenager, who had learned things the hard way. He had faced many dangers and felt well able to take care of himself. He had heard all the stories about this security guard. He hoped that he would never meet him.
One day, he decided to catch a ride on the train. He sneaked into the railway yard and grabbed the ladder that was at the end of a boxcar as the train went slowly by. He hoped that he was not seen, but the security guard he had spotted him. This security guard had captured many other men who had ridden without paying and he was sure that he would catch my grandfather also. Grabbing the ladder on a nearby boxcar, the man climbed up and onto the boxcar’s top.
As Grandpa peeked over the top of the boxcar to see if he could find a better place to ride, he saw the guard coming his way. Immediately he ducked down hoping that he had not been seen. In the several minutes he had before the man got to him, he had a decision to make. The train was going faster now and my grandfather decided that it was going too fast for him to jump off or be thrown off.
He decided that he must either fight the guard or bluff him. He chose the latter. Climbing up the ladder when he was sure the guard was right there, he sprung up onto the top of the boxcar right in front of the guard. Looking his meanest, he faced this huge strongman. The guard told him that he was going to throw him off the train. Although my grandfather was scared, he did not let it show. He told the man, in his meanest voice, that he had a gun and would blow his head off if he tried it. That big security guard showed that he was a coward at heart. Even though that guard did not see a gun, he was afraid at the mere mention of the word. He backed down and left my grandfather alone. Grandpa was greatly relieved as he knew that he was no match for that huge man.
How often, we are like that guard. We profess to be a Christian, but it is all a show. Inside we are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Rev 3:17 Isaiah strips away all of the pretense, saying, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” Isa 64:6; 1:5,6
Our Dear Saviour declared to the Pharisees of old, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matt 23:25-28
No matter what we profess, it is worthless without the love of God dwelling within. Jesus tells us, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt 7:21-23
How important it have that cleansing that only Jesus can give. He bids us, “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isa 1:16-18 If we truly experience this cleansing, we will not be “all show” like that security guard. We will truly become a new creature. (2 Cor 5:17) We will have a new heart, new thoughts, new likes, new dislikes. Profession does no good without a change of heart. We cannot give it to ourselves. It comes from the Great Re-Creator. He says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Eze 36:26,27
May we go beyond a mere outward appearance of religion. May we daily pray as did David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:10-13 May we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; that we may be true-hearted Christians. Gal 5:22,23