Please note that, due to the nature of the topics covered, some sessions will not be recorded. Recordings also available on https://GrowInGrace.com
THEME: His Holiness in My Service
Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
Our theme verse for MIF 2022 is “His Holiness for My Service.” This theme is threaded throughout the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. As it has often been said, “It was God’s holiness that put man out of the Garden of Eden and it was His love that kept them out!”
The actual word “holy” does not appear in our Bibles until Exodus 3, where Moses is being called to serve as the deliverer of the people of God. At the very beginning of his service, Moses had to learn that this holiness is the very character of God. Stephen Charnock, a preacher in the 1700’s, once wrote, “Power is God’s hand or arm, Omniscience is His eyes, Mercy is His bowels (heart), Eternity His duration, but Holiness is His Beauty.” Thomas Watson would add, “Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of His crown.”
Holiness is central to biblical teaching, but we must ask whether it is central in our thinking today. Scripture says that our God is glorious in His holiness (Ex. 15:11). Hannah would declare, “No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2). Isaiah would remind us, “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Is. 57:15).
The primary meaning of the word holy is “separate.” It comes from a word that means “to cut” or “to separate.” This is translated “a cut apart,” or maybe even more accurately, “a cut above.” The holiness of our God is more than simply separateness. His holiness is transcendent, meaning He is far above everything else and everyone else. He stands apart, and He stands above! He is transcendentally separate. In all that our blessed God is, He is Holy. He is holy in His love, holy in His mercy, holy in His justice, and holy in His knowledge. He is wholly holy! The wholeness of our God is His holiness, and the revelation of His holiness is His glory.
A secondary meaning of His holiness flows out of the first. If He is holy in all that He is, then He is also separate from all that is unclean and immoral.
Things to consider together this week:
- What comes to your mind when you think of God’s holiness?
- Have you ever been overcome by the truth of the holiness of God?
- What impact does the holiness of God have on your life?
Lord’s Day Addresses
Jean-Claude Moinat & Larry Stassel
Hani Bolous & Hansruedi Graf
His Holiness to Experience the Power of His Presence
“Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
Points to Consider
Moses had spent forty years in Egypt learning the ways of the world. Then he spent forty years in the wilderness learning the ways of being dependent upon the Lord. It was at that time the Lord appeared to Moses in a burning bush. Moses saw the bush burning, but it was not being consumed. Being intrigued, Moses drew near. At that moment the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moses had to learn (as do we all) that we do not draw near to a holy God out of intrigue. As we come near to Him, we must acknowledge and have a sense of His holy presence! What made the ground holy? It was the presence of a Holy God!
In removing his shoes, Moses was acknowledging that he was of the earth. Human feet are sometimes referred to as “feet of clay,” symbolizing that we are but creatures of the earth and that it is our feet that link us to the earth. If Moses was to lead the people of God, this lesson had to be learned; and we see this confirmed again in chapters 33-34.
As we look at the passage our theme verse comes from, let’s seek to answer several questions:
- What does the word “holy” mean?
- What does holiness look like?
- What can we learn from Exodus 3 and 33? How are the holiness of God and His glory connected?
His Holiness to Enter into His Blessings
Points to Consider
As Joshua stepped out to survey the Jericho, “Behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand.” Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” Joshua was about to learn an all-important lesson before he could enter into the blessings of all that God had promised and now had provided. The Man Joshua faced answered him saying, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” To this Joshua, fell on his face and worshipped declaring, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” (See Joshua 5:13-15.)
But before he could go any further, there was another important lesson to be learned. The Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” Once again, as with Moses, the ground became holy ground because of the presence of the Lord.
The book of Joshua has often been paralleled with the book of Ephesians, where we find out that our blessings are heavenly in character. We learn in the second chapter of that epistle that the Church is to be a holy habitation of God in the Spirit. If a sense of His holy presence is lacking, this will impact our entering into the blessing that we have been blessed with in Christ.
- What are some of these blessings that we are to enter into and enjoy?
- What hinders us from enjoying them today?
- What is the main prerequisite to enjoying “the land”?
Tuesday Open Ministry
His Holiness Enabling Me to Be His Mouthpiece
Points to Consider
The book of Isaiah is an amazing book, the first of 17 prophetic books. (The Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel; the Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The Minor Prophets are also sometimes called The Twelve). The book of Isaiah has been referred as the Gospel of the Old Testament. It can be divided up into two main sections. The first 39 chapters deal mainly with condemnation, which shows man’s need for salvation; and the next 27 chapters deal with consolation, which displays God’s provision for salvation.
Some helpful background to the opening verses of Isaiah 6 is found in 2 Chronicles 26 and 2 Kings 15:1-5. There we read of King Uzziah, who reigned for 52 years. He started out very well, but he did not finish well. There are many lessons that can be learned from this king! He was not satisfied with where the Lord had placed him, and he wanted a place which did not belong to him. He lost sight of the holiness of God and defiled the temple.
This background is extremely important to the lessons Isaiah teaches us because it is in direct contrast to Isaiah’s experiences in chapter 6. As we read through this convicting chapter, we realize that before the prophet could be an effective mouthpiece of God, he had to go through four stages:
- He experienced sight: he saw the Lord (vv. 1-4), which was his confrontation
- He gained insight: he saw himself (vv. 5-7), which led to his confession
- He was given a vision: he saw the need (v. 8), which opened the way to his call
- He saw the blindness of the nation (vv. 9-13), which led to his commission
- Have you had an experience in which you were overcome by the holiness of the Lord?
- Consider five things Isaiah draws attention to in verse 5. What can we learn from them?
- What do we learn in verses 6-7 about the cleansing of Isaiah?
- How did this affect Isaiah’s readiness to be a mouthpiece?
His Holiness for Effective Service
Points to Consider
The life of Simon Peter is a tremendous study, one which has many turning points. One such turning point is found in Luke 5:1-11. This section reveals the words of our Lord (vv. 1-3), the works of our Lord (vv. 4-7), and the ways of our Lord (vv. 8-11). On Peter’s side of the story, we see him going from failure to success; and we have to ask, “What made the difference?”
We might say at first glance it was his obedience to the Master, and this is true. But there is another lesson embedded in this story that Peter never really forgot!
When the Lord Jesus asked him, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch,” Simon responded, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” The Lord rewarded his obedience, as reluctant as it might have been, for “when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” They needed help to pull the catch in—but Peter lost interest in the fish! His net was not the only thing breaking. The Scriptures tell us, “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’”
- Looking at Luke 5:1-11, what is the significance of this event in Peter’s life?
- How does it connect to the holiness of God in our service?
- Other Scriptures to consider include 1 Peter 1:13-21; 2:5, 9, 17, 18; 3:1; 4:2-3.
Previous years’ media can be found on the Media Archive page.