Looking Up

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Watering the Tulips

January 19, 2016

 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:1-2 (ESV)

 

These are heavy words! Our calling as believers is higher than we often consider. We are not called to just mope along with the rest of mankind through the mire that is this life. We are called for something far greater. We are called to be lights in the world (Matthew 5:14). We are called to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). We are called to be different. We are called to “seek those things which are above”. But what exactly does that mean?

 

Personal holiness is not a common theme these days in the pulpit. And honestly, there’s a great misunderstanding of what holiness truly is to begin with. One common theme of the Mosaic Law is that the Jews were “to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean” (Leviticus 10:10). These things that were “holy” were not sinless or righteous of their own merit. Yet, they are still designated as “holy”.

 

One may argue, “Well, God is holy”. That is absolutely true and He is said to be so many times throughout God’s Word. But, the definition of “holiness” is not “righteousness”. These are two completely different attributes of God. He is both holy and righteous. God’s holiness specifically is what separates Him from His creation. When Isaiah “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up”, one thing was for sure – God was separate from the created beings around Him (Isaiah 6:1-3). At this, the seraphim declared, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts”. God’s holiness can thus be defined as His separateness from His creation. That is, He is not part of Creation. He is completely other than His creation. This is our calling.

 

In His High Priestly prayer, Jesus said, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14-16). Two times here Jesus declared that His sheep “are not of the world”. This is our calling. In regeneration, we are called by the Holy Spirit to be other than the world. This is holiness.

 

Peter declared, As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:14-16). Again, this is clearly our calling. We are in and among the world. Jesus was. God is! But, we are called to be different. Our actions, our speech, our attitudes, our desires and all that we are ought to be noticeably different from the world. If we are not different, we are not being what we were called to be.

 

Child of God, “seek the things that are above”. Live differently than this world. Be what God called you to be.

 

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net .  “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers.  Please download it today!

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