Updated: Apr 22, 2019
The other day, I got sucked into the rabbit hole that is Facebook (like many often do) on a page about faith. In particular, a page that holds discussions on the Christian faith. There was a common sentiment about faith and how we should simply strive to be good people, rather than subscribing to a certain belief system. While that is a great idea and a great belief to hold onto (because, quite frankly, we should strive to be good people), I couldn’t help but shake this idea: God calls us, not simply to be good people, but to reach and strive for righteousness and Holiness. God told the Israelites in Leviticus 11 to “Be Holy because I Am Holy”.
When I think about humanity in its relation to our Creator, I think about something greater than merely “goodness”. I think of something that… big church word alert… transcends our own ability to be good to one another. God calls us to be Holy. To live a life of dedication to Him that results in our being… another big church word… consecrated (made sacred) by Him.
While goodness is undoubtedly part of God’s character, the best description of God is “Holy” and "Righteous". When we think of Holiness, we often think of abstinence. That somehow our own ability to abstain from "this or that" will make us Holy, but in truth, it is not our abstinence that makes us Holy but our dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
When I was a kid, I decided that I wanted to be a great trumpet player. From that point on, I dedicated my life to being a good musician. I studied music theory, took trumpet lessons from some great teachers, and listened exclusively to trumpet playing, trying to mimic the sound quality that I heard. I was fully dedicated to that craft. My life slowly began to revolve around my trumpet playing. Whether it was city youth orchestra, community music groups, school band, or summer camps. I was fully dedicated to becoming the best musician I could possibly be. And, not to toot my own horn (pun fully and unashamedly intended), I got pretty decent. My dedication had paid off in some way or another; it allowed me to get paid to play my instrument full time for 8 years.
Imagine if we dedicated ourselves fully to the Gospel. Imagine if our lives revolved around the life and message of Jesus Christ. Imagine with me for a minute, if 40 or 50 people became fully dedicated to the call to go and make disciples in their city. Imagine the transformation that would occur. If we, as a church, dedicated ourselves to making disciples in our neighborhoods what would happen to the city of Rockford (or if you live outside of Rockford, your own city)? If we truly strive to be Holy rather than good. If we strive to be fully dedicated to the Gospel and therefore are made sacred, it might just pay off. Scratch that, it will undoubtedly pay off.
So I challenge us, as a community of faith, to strive for dedication; to strive to see people's lives truly and authentically changed for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.