Today we will be exploring the topic of holiness, and how cultivating a heart like God’s means to be moved and motivated by the things that move and motivate him. This godly empathy is what separates Gods people as a unique and set apart people.
Yeshua stated it this way:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Yeshua explains that in grieving for unrighteousness a blessing will result, as God will be near to comfort those who are passionate for righteousness.
Many times this verse is used to comfort those who are grieving the loss of a recently departed loved one. However, the intent of this wisdom goes beyond the general aspect of mourning for death. Instead, it is a promise of God’s comforting presence with those who have a deep and sincere grief over unrighteousness, whether personal or within their shared experience.
When coming to the Bible for inspiration, people are not typically thinking about grief, but are looking for passages to encourage and to bring joy and fulfillment. Yet, according to Yeshua, one of the most fulfilling things that brings blessing into life is to be circumspect in one’s own walk, and to be sorrowful over the wayward practices of those around us.
This is not a sorrow for sorrow’s sake, just to feel sad about how disobedient we have been, or to languish in the wayward practices of the world around us. No, this grief is a grief that should spur us to action, to be personally repentant and to intercede for others.
This type of “active mourning” begins when one realizes their wayward actions are an affront to a holy God.
Prov 9:10: “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom. The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Cultivating a heart like God’s begins with understanding who he is. We need to know who God is in order for us to honor and respect him. However, if we are not aware of the nature and majesty of the God of the universe, then we will remain oblivious to all he has provided us.
All through the revelation of God’s word he describes himself so that we can have an understanding and come to know him.
Isaiah 40:25,28: “”To whom then will you liken me? Who is my equal?” says the Holy One. … Haven’t you known? Haven’t you heard? The everlasting God, Yahweh, The Creator of the ends of the earth, doesn’t faint. He isn’t weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Ezekiel 39:7: “My holy name will I make known in the midst of my people Israel; neither will I allow my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel.”
1 Samuel 2:2: “There is no one as holy as Yahweh, For there is no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God.”
Revelation 4:11: “”Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!””
Revelation 15:4: “Who wouldn’t fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you only are holy. For all the nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed.””
Recognizing the glory and majesty of God has to happen before we submit to his ways. Once this recognition is in place, then we can begin to learn about what God expects of us.
Leviticus 22:31 “You are to keep my commands and do them; I am the LORD.
Deuteronomy 6:17, 25 “Carefully observe the commands of the LORD your God, the decrees and statutes he has commanded you. … “Righteousness will be ours if we are careful to follow every one of these commands before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.’
Deuteronomy 8:6 “So keep the commands of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.
Deuteronomy 11:1 “Therefore, love the LORD your God and always keep his mandate and his statutes, ordinances, and commands.
Psalm 119:131 I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commands.
1 John 5:3 For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden…
When we understand what God desires of us, then we can evaluate our own thoughts and actions to see how we measure up to his expectations. This can result in personal repentance and a recommitment to do what’s right.
First we must recognize where we have erred; then, we must react in a way that honors God.
Psalm 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Psalm 38:18 So I confess my iniquity; I am anxious because of my sin.
Psalm 51:2-3 Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am cleansed from my sin”?
To sin is to be disobedient, a disobedience which separates and distances us from God. When we come to the realization that we have sinned against a holy God it should cause us grief; grief about our own situation, grief about how we have not measured up to his standards that he expects of us. This grief should move us to correct our ways and to ask God for his help in overcoming those things which keep us from being fully committed and obedient to him. Recognizing our own sin opens a pathway to a restored relationship with the God of the universe.
Mourning for unrighteousness is also a type of deep grief when one recognizes a state of unrighteousness among those around them. A godly heart is offended at the things that offend God.
Psalm 119:136 My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow your instruction.
Lamentations 3:48 My eyes flow with streams of tears because of the destruction of my dear people.
Yeshua himself set the example for all believers as he poured out his heart in prophetic utterance over the hardness of the people of Jerusalem.
Luke 19:41-44 As he approached and saw the city, he wept for it, saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. “For the days will come on you when your enemies will build a barricade around you, surround you, and hem you in on every side. “They will crush you and your children among you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in your midst, because you did not recognize the time when God visited you.”
The apostle Paul also exhibited this characteristic with his intense desire for his countrymen to come to the knowledge of the truth of their Messiah.
Romans 9:1-5 I speak the truth in Christ – I am not lying; my conscience testifies to me through the Holy Spirit – that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Messiah for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, God over all be praised forever. Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.
Philippians 3:18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
When we come to the recognition that we live among a people who are lost, confused, and vainly seeking their own ways, we should be moved with compassion. We should seek to pray for them and to help them understand the truth of God’s word. This can only happen when our motivation is springing from a deep desire for all people everywhere to know the God of the universe and to become a part of his Kingdom of righteousness on the Earth.
For us to have a heart like God, we must share his perspective. We can only gain God’s perspective of this world in this life by being routinely and deeply engaged with his word. In doing so, we are molded and shaped with the worldview that God desires for his people.
If we are growing in our understanding of God and his desires for the ideals of his kingdom to be present here and now, then we are likely to also be demonstrating a sincere and passionate dissatisfaction with the unrighteousness that is exhibited within our experience each day. We grow to want what God wants, both for us and for others. This holy grieving over lack from the ideal is spiritually healthy, and helps to keep our focus on what is truly of eternal importance. This is growing in holiness.
“Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7“
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 1 Peter 1:14-16
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