Who is God? God is holy.
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. – Exodus 3:1-6
God is holy. He is perfect, sinless, glorious, righteous, and utterly set apart as the Creator God that transcends all of creation. This is what it means to be holy. In this story, Moses gets a glimpse of His otherness as He reveals Himself by breaking the laws of nature and manifests a burning fire that appears with heat, flames, brightness, and glory but miraculously does not burn anything around it. God’s holy presence is so glorious that it makes even the ground around Him holy. Moses rightly hides his face knowing God was far too holy for him to set eyes on. Let us humble ourselves today as we contemplate the power, majesty, and the holiness of God.
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. Imagine being Moses and getting a glimpse of God’s holiness. What concerns fade away as you remember that your God is holy?
What might God be trying to teach you by reminding you that He is holy and His presence is holy? Where are you tempted to minimize God’s righteousness, power, and holiness? What would it look like to remember and live out of this truth that God is holy?
What has He done? The Great Exchange
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Yesterday, we let our hearts listen to the truth that God is holy. Holiness is an epic word that describes more than just His sinlessness and absolute perfection, but also His transcendence and glory. Today, we marvel at the truth of what has been called “The Great Exchange,” that our sinless and holy God – Jesus Christ – became sin, so that we might become righteous! He exchanges His sinlessness for sin and our sin for His sinlessness. This is incredible. It is a gift of the gospel that He took the penalty for our sin and we get the reward for His holiness. Praise be to God. We can never earn or deserve this, but our holy God has given it to us freely at His own expense. All of your doubts, failures, mistakes, lust, greed, pride, gluttony, addiction, bad habits, cruel thoughts and actions, gossip, slander, lies, entitlement, worry, coveting, fits, rage, laziness, passivity – all of it – has been placed on Christ, and all of His obedience, love, generosity, patience, faith, tenderness, courage, self-control, and on and on and on, has been placed on you!! Praise be to God! The gospel is good news!
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart.
Write down in a journal all the sins that you have committed or feel ashamed of, and in your mind, set them at the foot of the cross. Now picture the beautiful obedience of Jesus being placed on you. Re-read the verse above and spend some time writing, singing, and praying out praises of thanksgiving for this marvelous truth!
Who are we? We are saints.
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 1:2-3
Yesterday, we let our hearts listen to the truth that our holy God exchanged His righteousness for our sin. Because this is true, we have a new identity – we are saints! Saints are sanctified ones or “holy ones.” We are declared holy because of the gospel. This changes how we now live. We are no longer sinners who sometimes “saint,” but now we are saints who sometimes sin. Yes, we are not perfectly holy yet, but in Christ, because of the gospel, we are “declared holy” and are learning to live out of our new holy identity. This impacts how we look at the little and big temptations of life. We no longer have the excuse to just say, “Oh well, everyone does it,” or, “I am a sinner,” or, “I am just a bit of a gossip.” No, we are saints. When we are tempted with the subtle lie that we are sinners so, of course, we will sin, we must speak the truth of the Great Exchange into our hearts and cry out that we are saints; we follow Jesus, walking in holiness. You are a saint. May God bless you as you learn to live as a saint!
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. Let “the Great Exchange” begin to define you as you see yourself as a saint. What might God be trying to teach you by reminding you that you are now a saint who sometimes sins instead of a sinner who sometimes “saints”? What is the difference, and why does it matter?
Pray and ask God to reveal areas of your life where you are most prone to forget that you are a saint. What are some areas where you now will live differently knowing that you are a saint? Write down in a journal all that you are hearing and learning from the Lord, and some next steps for how to live it out.
How do we live? We flee sin and pursue holiness.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. – 2 Timothy 2:22
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. – 1 Corinthians 6:18
But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. – 1 Timothy 6:11-12
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. – Romans 6:11
This week we have meditated on the truth that our God is holy and He exchanged His righteousness for our sin so that we might become saints. We are saints! In light of these truths, how do we respond? We respond with gratitude and a new resolve to live out of this truth of who we are in Christ – holy ones, saints. We flee sin and pursue righteousness. We eagerly strive to pursue righteousness and flee all that would tempt us. We follow Jesus and the abundant life He has for us!
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. What temptation do you need to flee? What sin do you need to consider yourself dead to? What characteristics of Christ is God calling you to pursue?
How is God calling you to trust and obey Him in light of these truths? Is there someone you could share this with, or a friend who could help you? Or perhaps there’s a different next step? If so, follow Jesus, as His truth will set you free!
True Gratitude: Rejoice in the Lord!
Once again, we will focus on the passage below as we grow in practicing thanksgiving, contentment, and celebration. It is a beautiful passage and this is a great opportunity to practice memorization.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9
Today we rejoice in all the truth and promises we learned, received, heard, and saw in Jesus this week! We give thanks for the truth of God, the gospel, our new identity, and the freedom to trust and obey the One who gives life.
Thanksgiving & Adoration:
Take time today to think of all you have to thank God for and thank Him for it. Write these in your journal, pray them out loud, and praise Him for the truths that have transformed you even this week!