Saturday, January 7, 2012

Holy Living

Last fall, I knew that God was calling me to REALLY enter into Philippians 4:8.

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.

That passage was and is to become more than lip service, it is to become my way of life. I honestly thought my word for 2012 would be “whatever”. But it isn’t.

My word for 2012 is: Purpose.

As 2011 came to a close and I finished reading through the Bible, each day the word purpose or plans seemed to pop up in the passages I was reading. The last verse I memorized for 2011 was the very familiar Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that HE who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” God seemed to be weaving a theme together.

Here is just a sample of the verses that God placed in front of me the last few weeks of 2011.

Isaiah 46:10b My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish my purpose.

Isaiah 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Job 42:2 (Job speaking) I know that you can do all things, and that no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Purpose.

For so long I have felt my purpose has been to be the best wife, mom, pianist, teacher….that I can be.

Wrong. I was created with one purpose.

My purpose is to glorify God. Your purpose is to glorify God.

As He began to place PURPOSE on my heart, He was also placing scripture about holiness in front of me. Remember Philippians 4:8? That was just the start.
I continue to hear “Guard your heart, be careful what you expose your mind to. Ask yourself if this (book, show, song…) is a ‘whatever’?”

Guard your heart. Purpose. Two “themes” that I knew God would somehow weave together. And He is. Which is the reason for this focus on holy living.

2 Timothy 2: 20-26 has become my chunk of scripture for this focus on holy living. I am sharing verses 20-22 here from the NIV because that is the translation that God used to connect my two themes for the year.

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart

My purpose is to glorify God. I can’t do that if I am an unclean vessel. Look at how The Message states verses 20-21:

In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.

Holy living is making a conscience effort to not just read God’s word, but to apply it. TO LIVE IT. Why?

It’s simple. God has plans for me, for you. We have PURPOSE.

SPECIAL PURPOSES. He says nothing can thwart or hinder those plans from happening. He WILL accomplish them. This life, MY life is not about me at all. It’s about bringing glory to my Savior. THAT is purpose.

I believe He has special purposes planned for us each day. Holy Living is as 2 Timothy 2:21 says (from The Message) being the kind of container God can use

A container that is focused on whatever is:
True Honorable Just Pure Lovely
Commendable Praiseworthy Excellent

This week, I'm asking God show me what changes need to be made in my life. They may be small things and they may be big! What He asks me to step away from maybe okay for you...no judgement! :) I'm approaching the week with anticipation, expecting Him to move in my life. I pray that you will join us!

3 comments:

Sheryl said...

Wonderful post. God is really speaking to you. He's speaking to me too. He wants me to just sit with Him. Listen to Him and then obey.

I am looking forward to see how He speaks to me. I know our relationship will be closer than it is right now. I am enjoying this journey with my God.

Sheryl

jenmom said...

Purpose...now that's a good word! I too am approaching this year with the goal of intently looking into God's Word and I am so excited to gaze at Him (not just glance) as I travel this new year close to Him!

Amy said...

Stephanie,
I appreciate your insight and your willingness to deal with the tough issues. Personal holiness is no fluffy topic! It gets "fluffed over" all too often!!!

I've been thinking about what my "word" for 2012 is, and asking Him to show me. I'm not sure yet, but know that in this post in one of your previous posts regarding not being soft on our children with personal holiness, God is beginning to help gel some things in my mind.

I'm reading "Bonhoeffer" right now. It's a biography of an incredible man of God. These themes of purpose, holiness, and response to Him and the Word are all swirling together right now.

Trusting Him to bring us both more revelation!!!

Love you and miss you, sistah!
Amy