Monday, November 28, 2011

Scripture Text: Haggai 2:10-19 Here the word from the Lord to the restorationist is 'the touch of a holy thing does not sanctify so much as the touch of an unholy thing pollutes'. A modern interpretation would be, 'contact with a holy person, place or thing does not make you holy'. However, contact with an unholy person, place or thing can infect you with unholiness. The Apostle Paul stated it this way: "Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). You cannot place a sick person in a room of healthy people and the sick become healthy. Healthy people can sometimes be at risk if they come in contact with someone with an infectious illness such as the flu! You cannot place a clean white shirt in a dirty clothes hamper and expect the dirty clothes to become clean. Quite the contrary, the clean will become dirty.
What do these musings have to do with holiness? Just this, holiness is not transferred from one to another. Holiness is imputed to us through Christ. Our natural attempts to quarantine ourselves from the unclean will not produce biblical holiness. Holiness is not transferable. We are made holy through Christ! Holiness comes down from above. Each person has to encounter Christ for themselves.
Christian living is much more than doing right things. Christian living is being right with God! A personal encounter with the risen Lord is a prerequisite to biblical holiness. What is amazing about God's Grace is that, even though we have been polluted by the uncleanness of sin, the word of the Lord declares, "I Will Bless You". We must cease looking to one another, or comparing ourselves with one another, and start looking to Christ to make us holy!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ruth's journey began in the land of 'loose living' (Moab). From there she was brought to the land of 'leftovers' (gleaning in the fields). Now she is brought to the land of the 'lovingly redeemed' & 'lavishly accepted'!
However, before Boaz can redeem her another unnamed relative has to step aside. The older, mysterious relative, represents the 'religious use of the Law'. The unnamed relative is happy to redeem property but wants nothing to do with Ruth. This is a perfect picture of religion - happy to claim property, but wants nothing to do with relationship!
The unnamed relative took off his sandal signifying his release of control over Ruth. Jesus' death, burial and resurrection released us from the condemnation of the Law. We are no longer under the Law but under Grace!
We now have the privilege of intimacy with our Redeemer and from that fellowship and intimacy fruit will be produced which results in Christ coming forth.
One final observation: Ruth's journey decreased her perimeters but increased her sphere of influence. She went from a country to a city; from a city to a field; from a field to the threshing floor and from the threshing floor to a bed. However, with each new venture, her destiny was increased. Do you feel you are being restricted? Could it be the ordering of God to increase His plan for your life?