Today’s Truth

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy (Psalm 99:9 NIV).

Friend to Friend

When my son Hunter was ten, he came to me with a humble confession. He said that because he hasn’t been spending much time with God lately, he had been grumpier and grumpier. He quietly admitted he had been mean to his siblings and had said some unkind things. With amazing insight, he connected the amount of time he spent with God to his behaviors … recognizing that there was a direct correlation.

Boy, can I relate.

I told Hunter that I experience the exact same thing in my life. That when I don’t carve out time in my day to spend with the Lord, I often say and do things I shouldn’t. For that matter, even when I do read my Bible and spend time with Jesus in prayer, I still say and do sinful things.

You too?

Psalm 99 points to the holiness of God and calls us to responsive worship. “Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name—he is holy… Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy… Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy” (Psalm 99:2-3, 5, 9, NIV).

Holiness is a big deal to God.

Here’s where it gets tricky, beyond responding to God’s holiness, we are called to live holy lives. Our sin shouldn’t be comfortable, downplayed, rationalized, or brushed off, but instead, addressed and confessed so the Lord can lead us in His holiness.

Jesus told us so in His Sermon on the Mount.

“You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 AMP).

Peter reminded us of this as well in his letter to believers, “As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:14-15 NIV).

Jesus also explains that anything good in us comes from Him and that it’s not possible for us to be holy on our own (John 15). Thankfully, He assures us that while we can’t do this ourselves, all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). Whew!

Breathe in grace … exhale peace.

God is always willing to help us grow in holiness. We simply need to ask and yield to His Spirit.

One of the most powerful ways to make progress in areas of weakness is to keep short accounts with God. When we pray and ask the Lord to filter our actions, thoughts, and beliefs through the Holy Spirit, He disarms the loose cannons of our sinful tendencies.

At the end of my conversation with Hunter, I told him that one of the most amazing things about our Heavenly Father is the mercy He greets us with when we come before Him to confess our messy behaviors. I said to him, and I say to you, God loves you perfectly, every time you turn to Him with a repentant heart, He offers grace.

So, let’s choose to live and worship in response to God’s holiness.

Confess what needs to be confessed, and trust that the grace of Jesus covers your un-holiness with forgiveness, enabling you to move forward as a set-apart sister in the power of His Spirit today.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, You are mighty to save and generous in mercy. I’m sorry for the ways I get holiness wrong. Help me to make progress in purity today. “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 

Why is it important for us to stay connected with and abide in Jesus? Read John 15 and spend some time in personal reflection, repentance, and prayer.

More from the Girlfriends

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© 2022 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “Breathing In Grace”

  1. Susan says:

    “Our sin shouldn’t be comfortable, downplayed, rationalized, or brushed off…” Amen! I’ve been studying Judges and, although it’s tempting to sit back and shake my head at all the ways Israel continued to disobey God, He is showing me that I am no different. Some of the tribes had strayed so far from their relationship with God, they didn’t even recognize their actions as sins. I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sins. As bad as I may feel about it, I’m so glad that I haven’t strayed so far that I no longer hear God’s voice and feel the Spirit’s conviction. Thank you, Gwen, for the important reminder to daily choose to stay connected to the Vine!

  2. Carol says:

    Thanks, Gwen for this devotion!
    Your statement of “keep short accounts with God” fits right into my belief, that is the key to “abiding” in the Vine.
    And “Amen ” to your prayer; I live my everyday with Psalm 19:14.
    Thank you, too, sister Susan! Couldn’t have said it better!
    Blessings to you both, this am.

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8