Many years ago we sang a beautiful worship chorus some of you may remember. “Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All His wonderful passion and purity. Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine, till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.”
In a world of bitterness and hate, the simplicity of this simple chorus gets lost. But in reality, there can be no greater quality in our personal lives than to be an expression of Jesus Christ.
When we think of Jesus, we can’t help but picture the Perfect Son of God. Holiness from heaven visited this corrupt world.
And Jesus said the following: “As My Father has sent me, so send I you!”
I speak of “holiness,” a subject we hear very little of today as the church ignorantly or purposefully attempts to bring God down to our level. I can’t help but hear Him say, “Be you Holy, as I am Holy.”
In the early 1950s, my family attended Salvation Army services. We were all involved in the music, and my parents in leadership.
On Sunday we had two services. The evening service was the “Evangelistic Service” and the morning service was called the “Holiness Service,” the latter geared toward the believer’s process of growing in the grace of God.
There was another chorus I dearly remember, but have never heard since. The words went like this: “Oh far whiter than the snow, washed in Jesus’ blood I know. Cleansed from temper, anger, worldliness and pride. He can take the roots away, He can sanctify today! Blessed Savior, here am I.”
Choruses like these aren’t popular these days. Today we sing of His Kingship and lift His majesty (which is great), but it would seem that we have forgotten the lamentations of King David in Psalms, when he cried to the Lord to “Create in me a clean heart.”
He longed for cleansing that his heart would be holy before the Lord.
Where is our longing to be holy? We know we can never “make ourselves holy” — that is clearly not the focus of my message.
True Biblical holiness is not a list of “don’ts” as much as it is a longing and determination made up of “do’s.” As believers, we are His chosen vessels. We have been bought with a great price. As a result, we must choose to be sanctified and set apart so that His holiness can be revealed through us to those who need Him most.
If the unbelieving world ever needed to see a true and holy expression of Christ, they need to see it today.
So I ask you this question: Have you considered a life of holiness? If not, why not? Those around us need to see the beauty of Jesus lived before them more and preached at them less.
The Rev. JOHN ABBEY is pastor of Bethel Church in Killeen.