“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy… Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect… He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.” Leviticus 19; Matthew 5; 1st John 2

Wow! What a command. You must be holy, perfect, righteous. Perhaps the most religiously abused command ever given from God to his children, and yet it remains the command in which all others are encompassed. Upon hearing this command from Almighty God, we have two roads on which we may travel.

The first, and most popular, route is a venture into the art of excusing the Bible of God’s commands. This way begins with self-focused questions such as, “How could God expect this of me?” or “How could I ever possibly attain such?” with tones of “surely not” and “that’s impossible.” Unfortunately so much of our modern theology seeks to explain away the reality of God’s holiness, and we are now beginning to see the destructive realities of such a route.

The second way, as glorious as it is strait, is to embrace holiness. Here is the high adventure into the life of trusting and treasuring, beginning with God-centered questions such as, “Lord, how will You do this?” and “ Where can I join You in the process?” True theology calls for the recognition and acceptation of God’s beautiful holiness along with the ensuant charge upon our life.

Though the gate is narrow, the way strait, and only a few find it, let us embark on this great adventure of taking God at His word. Let us treasure our Lord for who He truly is. Let us trust Him to light the path that leads us to holiness – that leads us in God.


“Christ in you, the hope of glory… Proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1

“Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” Luke 9

Christians must be defined by growth. But we err grievously when personal growth and church growth become our quest. For in such pursuits we work directly against the revealed Kingdom formula for growth. Individual Christians, as well as their corporate expression through the church, must grow according to God’s economy. It is good that we explore and apply an assortment of resources and programs for growth. But, we must implement these tools according to the pattern that represents God’s way of conducting business.

Christians multiply by dividing. Churches multiply by dividing. There is no other way; there are no shortcuts. If our focus is to build ourselves into stronger Christians or our churches into larger churches, we will fail – not for lack of resources and not for a deficiency in intentions – we will fail because we choose to work outside of God’s mathematical equation for growth. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5)

If we desire growth – true growth – we must give ourselves away. Individually we accomplish this through one-to-one discipleship as we commit to walk beside another through thick and thin striving “to present everyone perfect in Christ.” As churches, we must find creative ways to give ourselves away corporately to other churches and ministries.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12

Find a way to give yourself away…find a way to grow.


I find an interesting connection between the fourth and seventh chapters of Matthew. In the former, Jesus is tempted by Satan to turn the stones that surround him amidst his wilderness fast into bread. In the latter, Jesus assures us that God will never give his children stones in the place of bread. The immediate context of chapter seven is discernment – directing us to discern the ways of God’s Kingdom. In short, our Heavenly Father promises never to give us stones. Our responsibility, then, is to trust that the stones that plague our lives are truly bread from Heaven. In chapter four, Satan tells Jesus to turn the stones to bread. He exploits Scripture hoping to lead the Son away from the Father – essentially petrifying the bread of life. Jesus in turn tells Satan that the stones are bread, for the Father is using them to draw him to feast upon the wonders of divine fellowship. Time and time again God has brought things into my life that are hard – miserably hard. I am tempted to toss them, skip them, kick them, or just walk around them, all the while complaining that God would allow such stones in my life. How great it could be to stop, trust, draw near, and worship. “Father, this sure looks like a stone, it sure feels like a stone, but I trust you, please show me how this could be bread.” I am equally tempted toward stealing the sweet bread of God, tucking it in my shirt, and scurrying off into the world, only to find that apart for the intimate presence of the Father it has turned to stone. Every warm loaf from Heaven’s breath has the potential for desolate petrifaction. Every cold stone from the world’s indifference has the potential for savory nourishment. The difference? The direction. Draw near to the Father…stay…trust…feast.


“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1

One of these natural portals, through which to view God, is the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This natural law, referred to as entropy, observes that left alone, all physical processes will decay. All chemical reactions will inevitably reach equilibrium and cease. Such a state is observable on the “dead” planets in our solar system. We can also see this on Earth. One example is the oxygen in our atmosphere. Oxygen is one of the most volatile elements of creation, in that it readily combines with virtually any other element. For Earth to foster life, its air must contain 21% free oxygen. Any more and the planet bursts into flames, any less and the air is toxic. According to entropy, free oxygen (left alone) would rapidly combine with any and all elements possible and decay into equilibrium. But it doesn’t. Why? Because the physical processes that foster life on Earth are not left alone.

“The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command.” Hebrews 1

“He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17

“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” Job 12

If our Lord were to remove His influence from Earth, all physical systems would decay to a point of chemical equilibrium and to the point of death. How exciting to see God’s intimacy in even the most basic facets of life.

This natural law frames a revelation of God’s spiritual nature. All spiritual systems, left alone, will spiritually decay.

“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered.” John 15

It is not enough to come to a savior for the creation of a relationship with God. We must also come to a sustainer of fellowship within that relationship.

“Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” Hebrews 12

Jesus has come to give us life and to sustain that life in Him. Invite Him to stir things up in you.