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Summary: Daniel’s early life reminds us that holiness is not reserved for super saints but ordinary people making extraordinary choices

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Sermon Title: Personal Holiness

Text: Daniel 1:1-21

Page in Pew Bible:

Introduction: As a child I used to sing the following song in Jr. Church…

O BE CAREFUL LITTLE EYES WHAT YOU SEE

O be careful little eyes what you see

For the Father up above is looking down in Love

O be careful little eyes what you see

O BE CAREFUL LITTLE EARS WHAT YOU HEAR

O be careful little ears what you hear

For the Father up above is looking down in Love

O be careful little ears what you hear

O BE CAREFUL LITTLE MOUTH WHAT YOU SAY

O be careful little mouth what you say

For the Father up above is looking down in Love

O be careful little mouth what you say

O BE CAREFUL LITTLE HANDS WHAT YOU DO

O be careful little hands what you do

For the Father up above is looking down in Love

O be careful little hands what you do

Unfortunately we are not careful – there are things we see, hear, say and do that damage our relationship with our heavenly father.

God’s people are called to be a holy people. Lev 11:44, I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.

The word Holy means to set apart and in the OT Holiness was marked by Separation.

· Separate Land – Promise Land

· Separate diet

· Separate way of worship

The reason for all the separation – God was preparing his people for the coming Savior – The lamb who would take away the sin of the world. Now that the messiah has come in Jesus, we are no longer required to be holy to prepare for the savior; holiness is required to participate with the savior.

In the OT holiness was seen in the temple – there was a place that drew people to holiness – the HOLY PLACE, (The KJV the holy of holies) the most sacred inner room in the TABERNACLE and the TEMPLE, where only the HIGH PRIEST was allowed to go. This room, separated from the rest of the worship area by a sacred veil, represented the visible presence of God in all His power and holiness. In this room was the ARK OF THE COVENANT, covered by the sacred MERCY SEAT, Ex. 25:10-22 tells us this is the place where the priest would meet God. Once a year on the DAY OF ATONEMENT, the high priest entered the Holy Place with sacrificial blood and made ATONEMENT before God for the sins of the people (Leviticus 16). (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

Today our focus of worship is no longer a building in Jerusalem for God does not dwell in an earthly building, No, 2 Cor 6:16 tells us; 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."

He previously stated in 1 Cor 6:19, our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you.

Now since God dwells in us should we not desire to live holy and lives before him?

But it can be difficult – we live in a depraved world. Our eyes, ears tongues and hands are contaminated daily by the sin that is all around us.

The Hebrew writer speaks of holiness this way; Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Heb 12:14

· Encouragement – Make every effort

· Warning – without holiness, no one will see the Lord!

When I read a verse like this I agree with Mark Twain – It ain’t those

parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

Today I want to talk about the issue of personal holiness. Holiness is a frontline issue in our world today.

The psalmist asks a pointed question – How can a young man keep his way pure? Ps 119:9

Before we look at our text – I want us to take a test this morning – we will call it a holiness test. I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOLINESS IN YOUR LIFE.

THE QUESTIONS WILL BE ON THE SCREEN.

1. What kind of moral or ethical challenges do you face in the work place or school?

- Do you fudge on time

- Do your eyes wander to another classmates paper

- Do you take office supplies

- What about gossip and inappropriate behavior

2. Are there areas in your life where you feel like you are compromising your spiritual values?

- Relationships or associates

- Thought life

- Recreation or entertainment

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