01 February 2021

Jim Stephens

Reading: Exodus 30-32; Acts 8

31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation. 32 It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. (Exodus 30:31-32 NLT)

Moses described the sacred anointing oil to be poured on the Tabernacle and its furnishings and the priests and their garments to set them apart as holy to the Lord. Then Moses described the sacred incense that was to be burned every day in the Holy Room of the Tabernacle. The oil and the incense were holy to the Lord. Then Moses told them about the seventh day and said, “The seventh day is holy. Keep it holy. It reminds you that God has made you holy.”

Holy oil, holy incense, a holy day, holy people. Holy means set apart for a specific purpose. It means special, not common. Synonyms are: sacred, consecrated, dedicated. Holy to the Lord. It’s holy. Keep it holy.

How much holiness is in my life? Jesus made me righteous and my commitment to Christ set me apart for his purpose. I’m not holy with the religious holiness of what I don’t do, where I don’t go, or what I don’t allow to entertain me. I’m holy with the blood of Jesus to atone for my sin, the oil of the Holy Spirit to anoint me, the incense of prayer and praise to remind me how good God is. I’ve got positional holiness.

But what about functional holiness?
How actually “set apart to God” is my life, my schedule? How actually set apart are my gifts and talents and skills to his purpose? How actually “set apart” are my thoughts, my affections, my joys, and my dependence? How about you? How’s your functional holiness?

12 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG)


Father, You are the God who makes me holy. It’s a unilateral action on your part. I commit to learn and live a “set apart to you” life in my thoughts and values and actions. It’s something I can do for you, prompted by a willing and thankful heart. Amen.

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