Summary: God is calling us to be Holy, but that is easier said than done. This sermon looks at how we as Christians can be Holy as God is Holy!
This morning, I want everyone to take off their shoes. You might be saying, “Why do we have to take off our shoes? I have holes in my sock or I don’t have any socks at all or my feet smell”. I’ll just go ahead and tell you now, God doesn’t care if you have holes in your socks or no socks or that your feet smell. Your neighbor might, but God doesn’t! The point to all this is summed up in the verse out of Exodus 3. Verse 5 to be exact, where it says, “Do not come any closer, God said take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy ground.” When I read those words it sends chills down my spine, to know that Moses was in the very presence of God. This morning it sends chills down my spine to know that you and I have come into the very presence of God. You don’t believe me? Then read (Mt 18:20 where it says, For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”) This morning we have come into a place filled with the awesome power of a Holy God. But, is God’s Holiness only with while we are in this church building? While their are two or three of us gathered together? The answer is NO! (2 Cor 6:16 says, ...For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”) Serving a Holy and awesome God, isn’t just a Sunday thing, it’s a life thing! Too many times I can see in my own life, that I take all this for granted, I don’t always live my live in a way that shows respect to the God who chose me, the God who loves me and the God who is Holy. Well maybe God really doesn’t care? Maybe it’s good enough to come to church on Sunday, but what I do with the rest of the week is up to me? To that I would say, NOT SO FAST! (1 Pet 1:15-16 says, Just as he who calls you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, “Be holy as I am holy.”) This morning God is calling us to be holy. The question I have is, HOW CAN WE BE HOLY?
I. ACT JUSTLY
The first way I see that we can start this transformation of being Holy is by Acting Justly. There are times in each of our lives that we have to opportunity to do what is right or what is wrong. It’s six in the morning, the light won’t turn green, no one is around, do you run the red light? You are called to go into work on Saturday morning, but it’s such a great day, no one will care if you don’t come in today, do you call in sick? You over hear some people using the Lords name in vain, you know you should say something, but do you? God is calling us to what is right. God is calling us to act justly. (Tit 1:16 says, They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.) When God calls us to act justly how do we respond? Do we say Yes Lord, I will follow you, Yes Lord, you are first in my life, Yes Lord, I’ll go where you want me to go and do what you want me to do, and then do we follow through! The Christian group D.C. Talk said -- “The greatest problem with Christianity today, are people who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny Him by their lifestyle, that is what a unbelieving world, simply finds unbelievable.” God is calling us to be Holy by Acting Justly!
II. LOVE MERCY
When I was younger we played a game called mercy. You would lock hands with someone and try to bend the other persons hands until they called for mercy. I’m glad that’s not the way God does it with us! To have mercy on someone means that you have pity on them or you show them leniency. I’m defiantly glad that’s what God does for me. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells of a King who wanted to settle his accounts, so he called in all the people who owed him money and asked for it back. One man owed the king ten thousand talents (a lot of money) There was no way the man could ever repay the king, but the king had mercy on his servant and canceled the debt. The servant then went to his friend who owed him a hundred denarii (not very much money) and asked for his money back, the man said that he couldn’t pay it back yet, so you know what that servant did, he threw his friend in prison. Needless to say when the king heard about this he wasn’t happy and thats where we pick up with the story. *Read Matt. 18:32-35.* We have to be willing to forgive our neighbor, and not only forgive them, but do it from our heart! If we truly want to be Holy, then we have to love mercy!