Driving into work yesterday morning I was listening to 88.3. A short program hosted by Beth Moore came on. I normally despise programs on the radio as I don’t like listening to people talk on the radio. I listen to the radio to hear music, if I want to hear people talk then I’ll specifically put a sermon/lecture on. But anyway, I didn’t change the station figuring that it would be just a little 3 min devotional by Beth Moore for women and then would be over and I could get back to some David Crowder, Sanctus Real, Casting Crowns, or whatever they had planned to play next. I wasn’t far off on the 3 min rule, but wasn’t so spot on concerning the audience it would affect. She began to talk about a verse in Gen 2:3 “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
Beth briefly explained that here we have the first mention of holiness – being set apart – in Scripture and it is used in conjunction with blessing. That’s when this female devotional affected me. I realized that every time I feel somewhat shameful because of the ridicule I receive from those who are nonbelievers due to my following God’s commands, it’s because I am seeing my sanctification incorrectly. For God to set a thing apart is for God to bless that thing. Now, I’m not saying our sanctification should be a source of pride (the flesh will boast in anything, so we must guard against this), but it most definitely shouldn’t be a source of shame. I am saying that as God sanctifies us, and that sanctification expresses itself in our refraining from particular actions or topics of conversation, etc, we need not be ashamed as the lost mock us for it. When they think us strange for not taking part in fornication or drunkenness, or for our taking a loving stand against homosexuality, or for making insane sacrifices to share the gospel with others we should remember that these things in our life are a mark of God’s gracious sanctification in our lives. That God is blessing us, as we have been set apart for Him.
Their mockery should also remind us that they don’t understand the blessing, which should break our hearts for them. They need to hear the gospel, they need to know Christ. The very instance that tends to cause us shame and keep us quiet, should break our hearts for those people who are trying to shame us. Realizing we have been blessed should spur us to share that blessing. The more God causes His face to shine on us, the more we should shine to others as we reflect Him. The thing Satan longs to use to shame us, God intends to spread His kingdom through. Holiness is a blessing.
“God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us– Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations.”(Psalm 67:1-2)