SET APART: THE HOLINESS OF GOD
Last summer, my youngest daughter discovered music legend Elvis Presley. This was the result of a new movie portraying his life and career in grand Hollywood fashion.
I am not here to offer commentary on Presley’s music, but he will probably go down as the most famous singer of all time. I decided to surprise my daughter with a trip to Memphis to visit Graceland and the related tourist spots. She was ecstatic and took in all the sights and sounds at the mansion, his airplane and of course, the gift shops.
Some of the personal belongings owned by Elvis were behind glass encasements, prohibiting visitors from touching or handling them. More elaborate exhibits such as his cars and motorcycles were guarded by a velvet rope.
It was understood that people were expected to keep their distance and respect the barriers. You sensed across the entirety of the Graceland property that Elvis was set apart from the rest of us.
On an exceedingly larger and eternal scale, our heavenly Father is set apart from this world and its sinfulness. This is due to His essence of holiness.
Who He is and His holiness are inseparable. It is not possible for God to be unholy.
His holiness is what sets Him apart from creation and enables Him to rightly judge sin and bestow forgiveness and mercy.
God is set apart in His greatness. (1–3)
A lot can be learned from the prayers spoken by a child. They are honest, humble and full of faith.
Most children’s introduction to prayer is at the dinner table by reciting the opening words, “God is great, God is good …”
Are we pondering the greatness of God as adults?
It is impossible to communicate everything that displays His greatness, but that doesn’t mean we should stop praising Him. Because He is holy, He is great.
God is set apart in His justice. (4–5)
Justice is required to be accepted by God; however, we desire mercy. How do these two essentials coexist with one another?
The answer is the holiness of God. Since He is holy and sin requires judgment, God has established the biblical truth of righteousness. The standard God has for all of us will never be lowered or compromised.
Knowing we are unable in our ability to keep from sin, God provides His Son to both pay the penalty for our transgressions and make us righteous before Him (Rom. 3:25).
The Christian should be quick to recall the measure of mercy granted to us by God when we are tempted to judge others.
God is set apart in His actions toward us. (6–9)
God is always and continually active in our world and in the life of each person. His choice to reveal Himself in our situations is proof of His love for us.
His motives are always pure, and His actions are always holy and just. We do not lack His presence; we sometimes lack awareness of His presence.
Maybe we need to dust off the old song “Count Your Blessings” and begin naming all the great things He has done in our lives.
Sing it loud in your own voice, or try out your best Elvis impersonation.
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi