Saturday, June 23, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Joshua 3:1-8

Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." (Joshua 3:5)
Joshua the chosen leader: Joshua has become the leader of Israel after the death of Moses. In Joshua Chapter 1:1-9, we read Yahweh re-commissioning Joshua. The Lord asks him, to be strong and courageous and assures him that He will be with him where ever he goes. Only such a person, in whom the spirit of the Lord dwells (Numb 27:8), can cleanse the people. The Israelites cross Jordan and enter Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. He gives strong warning to the people highlighting the need for faithful obedience of the law.
Holy God: Holiness is an attribute of God. The Seraphims who surround God's heavenly throne proclaim "holy, holy, holy" both in the vision that Isaiah has seen (Isaiah 6:3) and that of John (Rev. 4:8) Even the name of the third person of the trinity - the Holy Spirit - indicates that God is holy. Things related to God are also holy, Sabbath is holy, His people are expected to be holy. This means God's chosen people have to walk/behave in a way different from that of others. In the holiness code for Israelites (Lev. 17:26) the Lord through the refrain, "You shall be holy" stresses the obligations of the community to be holy. "You shall be holy, because, I, the Lord, your God, am holy(Lev.19:2)
Walking in Holiness: Moses the predecessor of Joshua was not allowed to cross Jordan. Joshua was obedient to God and he walked in holiness too. Holiness is a calling that involves living in a way that is not impure. St. Paul points out in 2 Cor. 6:6, "Ye are the temple of the living God" So we have to perfect holiness in the fear of God by cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (2Cor.7:1) We find illustrations to this in the lives of Joseph and Daniel. Joseph keeps himself from sinning against the Lord while in the house of Potiphar. So also, Daniel and his friends will not defile themselves with the meat and wine assigned to them from the royal table of Nebuchadnezzar. Holiness is the result of believing God's promises and an act of reverence to God. People who adopt a lifestyle characterized by the biblical idea of holiness understand it to be a process. The Apostle Paul suggests that holiness can be "perfected" by a commitment to continue to purify ourselves from "everything that contaminates body and spirit" "Holy" means set apart. When you walk in holiness, it is God who overcomes the obstacles of your life.
Dear Lord we are in this world surrounded by temptations and all kinds of things that contaminate the body and spirit, send us the Holy Spirit to enable us to walk in holiness. Amen.
Holiness is not a garb to wear rather a lifestyle to be lived.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church