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Be Holy, for I am Holy

One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional

Today’s Bible Reading: February 14

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Leviticus 18-19

Matthew 27:32-66

Be Holy, for I Am Holy

Holy is God’s Nature

The word “holy” means “exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness.” To be holy refers to a state of being set apart from defilement. The Hebrew word translated “holy” comes from a term meaning “separate.” Thus, what is holy is separated from common use, or held sacred, especially by virtue of its being clean and pure.

God is holy to the supreme degree. The Bible says: “There is no one holy like Jehovah.” (1 Samuel 2:2) Holiness is the foundation of all other aspects of God’s character. Holy is who God is! Revelation 15:4 says of God, “You alone are holy.” The four living creatures sing to God day and night, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

Not only is God holy, but we are to be holy, too. He expects us to be “set apart” from the world. We are to be different from the world. And here in the book of Leviticus, we find for the third time, God telling his people to “Be holy, because I am holy.” The other two times are in Leviticus 11:44 and 45. God knows us, humans, pretty well – after all, He created us. He knows we have to hear things multiple times for it to sink in and finally “get it.” So let’s look at one aspect of being holy – reflecting the nature and characteristics of God.

My Mini-Me

When people look at my daughter, they know she is mine. She is made in my image. She’s my mini-me. When you look at her, she reflects me. You can see she gets some attributes from her dad, but mostly, she’s a younger version of me. We have a picture of us side by side at the same age and the only way you can tell us apart is by the fashion differences from when I was that age. Our hair was even combed the same way. We do have some differences – she is shorter than me, but we look very much alike.

Created In God’s Image but Sin Damages Our Image

When God created us, He created us in His image and likeness. Therefore, we should reflect every aspect of who He is, including His holiness, because His image is stamped and engraved in us. However, when sin entered the world, our relationship with God became broken and the image we reflect is far from holy.

Jesus said in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” If Satan is our father, then we reflect him, rather than God. Additionally, by giving in to sin and obeying the Devil, we become his slave. Paul tells us in Romans 6:16, “don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness”

The simple truth is we either reflect the image of God or the image of Satan. We cannot reflect both. Luke 16:13 tells us that no one can serve two masters. Neither can someone have two fathers. Either God is our father and we reflect His image, or Satan is our Father and we reflect his.

Because God is holy, He hates sin

God hates sin because it is the very opposite of His holiness. In Psalm 5:4, we find: “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You.” The Bible tells us how God feels about sin using words such as hostility, disgust, and utter dislike. For example, sin is described as putrefying sores in Isaiah 1:6. Psalm 38:4 tells us sin is a heavy burden. From Titus 1:15 and 2 Corinthians 7:1, sin is described as defiling filth, From Matthew 6:12-15, sin is a binding debt. 1 John 1:6 describes sin as darkness. And the prophet Isaiah describes sin as a scarlet stain in Isaiah 1:18.

God hates sin for the simple reason that sin separates us from Him: “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). It was sin that caused Adam and Eve to run away from God and hide “among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Sin always brings separation, and the fact that God hates sin means that He hates being separated from us.

God hates sin because it entices us to focus on worldly pleasure rather than God’s blessings. He hates sin because it blinds us to the truth (Matthew 5:14). He hates sin because it it enslaves us and will eventually destroy us – not only in this life, but for eternity (Romans 6:16). God hates sin because it lessens our love for Him (1 John 2:15-16). He hates sin because it makes us his enemy (James 4:4).

God Expects us to Reflect Him and be Holy

As believers, we should hate sin as does God. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 says we are “sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.” We must recognize that God has set us apart; we are “a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). Therefore, as His children, the world should see Him in us because His Holy Spirit dwells within us.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:12) But then in Matthew 5:14, Jesus also says, “You are the light of the world.” We can only be the light of the world when the Light (Jesus) is in our hearts. In a world that is dark with sin, the Light of Jesus should shine through us so that the world can see Him in us. As His children, we should look like Him. We should reflect the holiness of God. How else will the world come to know Him? The world should be able to look at us and then say, “Yup! She’s part of the family of God!”

As God’s Image-barers, we should be Holy

In Leviticus 19:2 God instructs Moses to tell the Children of Israel to be holy because God is holy. That applies to us today as well. Our words should be holy. Our actions should be holy. And our thoughts should be holy. The way we live should be holy. We should be reflecting God in everything we think, say, or do.  Because God is merciful, forgiving, grace, truthful, keeps his promises, righteous, just, and faithful, so should we. Because He is unconditional and unfailing in how He loves us, so we should be in how we love others. As beings created in His image, we should reflect these attributes in our everyday lives.

Colossians 3:10 says, “And having put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” And in Ephesians 4:24, Paul wrote, “And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

In Proverbs 27:19, Solomon wrote, “As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.” Whatever is in our heart is what is reflected in our lives. Is your heart reflecting the glory of God and His attributes and characteristics? Does a lost world see Jesus in you?

#ReadYourBible #Leviticus #Matthew #beholy #reflectingGodsholiness #youarethelightoftheworld

Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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