LENT: HOLY & WHOLE

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love Ephesians 1:3-4

Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a great time to reconnect in your daily walk with God and remember who you are and what He has done for you. As believers, God desires for you to be holy and whole. You are chosen before the foundations of the world to spend eternity in heaven. Long before God formed you, He had you in mind. He determined to set you apart and call you one of His own. He has called you holy and whole. Whoa! Let that truth sink in for a bit.

Blessed. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I am blessed in Jesus with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

What is the reason for this blessing? 

We have been blessed so that we can be holy and blameless before Him. The word holy means set apart for God and His purposes. It is derived from the Greek word hagos, meaning sacred. But it doesn’t stop there…we are also called whole. Without blemish. Blameless. Complete. Whole.

Holy and Whole. You see, the two go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. We must be holy, obedient people who are pursuing God. And yet, rule-following cannot happen without a radical heart transformation. Without the heart component, the wholeness piece, we become legalistic and focused on works. We get caught up in me. The things that I’m doing and accomplishing and how good I️ am in comparison to those around me. But God’s Word reminds us over and over again that this isn’t about ME…it is about HIM.

If it is Holy and ME…

I️ pursue self-righteousness. Set the standard for holiness. Strive to achieve. And when I️ fail, I️ am overburdened with guilt and shame, which often can become overwhelming and cause me to spiral towards the pit of despair. But thankfully, God’s picture of holiness is purposeful. It leads us to wholeness and healing.

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Hebrews 10:11-13

Moreover, God wants us to be healed. Complete. Well. Whole. He grants us grace so that we can keep going and stay on the straight path that sets us free. When we repent of our sin, we are turning to Him so that we can be healed. It is God’s grace that sets us free from all of the striving and doing and performing. Grace sets us free from sin’s power over our daily lives.

If it is Whole and ME…

I️ sluff off my sin. Furthermore, I️ begin to think that it’s not that big of a deal. Everybody else is doing it, so by comparison, I’m not that bad. Eventually, I️ forget the work that Jesus performed on the cross to acquire my holiness. I️ exaggerate grace and take it for granted.

Most importantly, we must remember that God desires us to be healed and made whole. He desires for you to come to Him. To repent and turn away from your sin. To make you well.

Holy & Whole…

Ultimately, our job is to turn to Him and repent of our sin as best we can. It is a daily surrender to lay our lives down. A complete surrender…so that we can be made Holy and Whole.

Prayer: Dear God, please help me to surrender all the little pieces of my broken life over to You so that your work of heart transformation can be accomplished. I️ desire to be made holy and whole, in order to reflect who You are to those around me. Forgive me for all of my strivings and doing and working and man-pleasing. May You be who I️ pursue more than anything! Amen.