Category Archives: Beginnings

A Christian Blogger’s Prayer

Before I set my pen to paper
Or fingers to keyboard,
Before I utter a word,
Let me draw nigh unto You.
Let me seek Your Holy Face.


Let me ask what You would say,
Through me and to me.

Let me lay down my pride
Of ownership, of authorship.
Let me empty of self,
To be filled with the Word
Of living water.

Let me be an instrument
For Your glory.
Let me be a tool
Of Your design.
My will is to please my Father above.

Before I set my pen to paper
Or word to thought,
Let me give my all to Thee.
Let me ask what You would say,
To me and through me.

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What if I stumble?

Do you remember that song by DC Talk?

What if I stumble
What if fall?
What if I lose my step
And I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue
When the walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble,
And what if I fall?

When I was a teen, I loved that song because it gave me a sense of purpose in trying so hard. These days I still like the song, but for different reasons.

I've quit trying so hard, sort of. In my love and study of philosophy. I've spent some time studying humility and pride. Often in our guilt after messing up, we come to God and tell him how awful we are and how horribly we've missed the mark. And in the process we beat ourselves up thinking we're being humble. Truthfully, that's just prideful. Believing that we can do it on our own is pride.

God knows we're human. He knows we will fall. On our own we can never make it. On our own we will never be worthy of Him. That's why He sent His Son.

On my own, I can't be holy. With Him, I can do anything. The key is how much I'm willing to give myself over to Him.

On my own, I can't resist temptation. Maybe I can for a little while, but eventually the enemy will wear me down, find a new soft point and beat me at my own game. But with Christ, oh man, with Him, I am an overcomer.

He is the One who resisted satan after 40 days of fasting. He is the One who resisted temptation to flee from the cup that God poured out on Him. He is the one who never quit, who never leaves, who never forsakes!

That is your God. He will sustain you if you are willing to give him everything that you are. I can't say that I succeed in that everyday, but I am willing to try. Are you?


ABC’s of Surrender

This Thursday, I’m starting a series of mini-posts on the ABC’s of Surrender. One of the chief aspects of this holiness journey is surrendering totally to Him, His guidance, His truth. Since most human beings are control freaks in one way or another, giving up oneself, even to the Creator of the universe, can be daunting.

To be honest, I don’t live in total surrender 100% of the time – it goes against the grain of the carnal mind. However, I do have moments when I’m able to yield completely to Him. It is the sweetest place to be. The contentment and joy in that place of total abandon is otherworldly.

But the world beckons. It can be amazingly difficult to hang onto that place of peace all of the time. So, every week for the next 26 weeks, I’m going to focus on a different aspect of surrendering to Him. That is six months of purposely setting aside time to focus on yielding my will to His is various areas of my life.

As I was meditating on the subject of surrender, I can’t help but recall the classic hymn, I Surrender All, lyrics by J.W. Van Deventer. It’s a simple message, but carries a prayer that the Savior longs to hear from His church.

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him;
In His presence daily live.

Refrain:
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my blesses Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly thine;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender;
No I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!


Why holiness?

The Bible has many commandments.

There are the Ten Commandments from Moses (Ex. 20). There are the two on which Christ said hang all the Law and Prophets – love God and love your neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40).

So why focus on holiness?

…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Rom 12:1-2

I don't know about you, but I want to be in the perfect will of God.

That phrase, “which is your reasonable service” strikes me. Christ gave everything for us. He descended from heaven and became man for our sake. He suffered under Pontius Pilate and was crucified for our sake. And He rose again on the third day for our sake. Is it not reasonable then, that He asks us to sacrifice everything we have and follow Him?

The world tells us that this call to be holy is a burden, that we are sacrificing our joy and happiness for a God that doesn't always seem to stop the suffering we see all around us. The suffering of living in a fallen world, of being strangers in a strange land.

But Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden light.

I think too often we seek the world's version of joy and happiness, which is really just a depraved culture of instant gratification and selfishness. The world tells us that morality is relative and the only commandment is to fulfill our own desires. That is a quest of emptiness. If we fill ourselves with the things of the world, we will always need more.

God is calling His people to be set apart. To lay down the yoke of the world and let Him fill us with Himself. How can we as Christians break the world's perception, that as a whole, we are just a bunch of judgmental hypocrites? We have to become holy and acceptable and living sacrifices. It's time to practice what He preached and daily take up our cross and follow Him whatever the cost.

If we do that, He will fill us with Himself. And He is the living water that eternally quenches our thirst. He will satisfy you. Trust that promise.

Today, I leave you with this quote:

Personal holiness is the answer to every problem. In every situation in my life, in every problem, in every difficulty, I know that if I allow the values and principles of the Gospel to guide me, it will turn out for the best. It will not always turn out as I wish, but I will be a better person for having lived the Gospel in that situation, and because of that, my future will be richer. –Matthew Kelly

 


I am on a quest

It’s a personal quest.  It’s also universal.

It is a quest for holiness – to live an unsullied life.

“Be holy, because I the Lord your God am holy.”  I Peter 1:16

“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:48

What does that mean?  How am I, a flawed human being living in a flawed world, supposed to attain the holiness and perfection of the Father?  How can I, a flawed person who sometimes acts like a jerk, misses the mark or just generally falls down, be holy?

I don’t think it’s an idle or flippant command.  I believe that the inspired word of God is that – inspired and the Word of God.  One translation of First Peter says, “You SHALL BE holy, for I am holy.”  It doesn’t sound like an option to me.  

So how do you and I obey this commandment?  How do we live holy lives?  In an age of moral decline and relativity, how do modern Christians live in the world but not of the world?

The name of this blog “Unsullied Holiness” comes from the following quote:

“We put it as our most sober judgment that the great need of the church in this and all ages is men of such commanding faith, of such unsullied holiness, of such marked spiritual vigor and consuming zeal, that their prayers, faith, lives and ministries will be of such a radical and aggressive form as to work spiritual revolutions which will form eras in individual and church life.”
– E. M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

That is the type of separated life that I seek through this quest.  One of revolutionary zeal.

I don’t claim to have all of the answers or even any of the answers.  That’s why it’s a quest.  One filled with adventure, adversity and amazing hope.

Some days feel like an easy sprint on a warm spring day.  Others take every ounce of strength just to hold ground and not move backwards.  And sometimes it seems that we’ve fallen off the path altogether.  What causes me to fall may not be what causes you to fall, but we can both turn to the same Father of mercy and grace and hope as we make our way.

My goal is to stay on the path more than I fall, to move forward more than I stand still and to chronicle the journey.

I love to write, study and ponder, so this blog will be a combination of my own thoughts and prayers as well as those of others that I find inspiring along the way. 

I hope that you will find here words of challenge and encouragement and that together we can become a generation that seeks the path of unsullied holiness.  


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