My Musings

Seven Sacred Gifts

Seven Sacred Gifts

If nothing is sacred, then everything is disposable. In today’s highly disposable world, reverence is getting rare. With secularism on the rise, we need a better grip on what is sacred. This takes faith. Webster defines sacred as that which is devoted or dedicated to a deity or a spiritual purpose, or entitled to veneration or religious respect. Christians hold that anything God selects for us or sets apart for special use is sacred. Here’s a short list of sacred gifts from the greatest gift-giver of all:

Human Life:

The sanctity of human life is foundational for seeking its meaning.

  • “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27).
  • “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” ~ The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Marriage:

Matrimony is holy! Add fatherhood and motherhood to this since the demise of marriage replaces them with “whateverhood.”

  • “[At] the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female…’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh,’ hey are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 19:4-6).
  • “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.” (Hebrews 13:4).

Truth:

God is Truth like water is wet. Get rid of God and Truth will no longer exist, even as a museum piece. Cleanliness is next to godliness but truthfulness is its full embrace! By contrast, lies make us putty in Satan’s claws.

  • “Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being.” ~ David (Psalm 51:6).
  • “The Bible may hurt you with the truth but it will never comfort you with a lie.” (Author unknown).

Beauty:

When a woman anointed Jesus with expensive perfume, Jesus’ disciples failed to behold her deed as beautiful. When Jesus said, “she did a beautiful thing” (Matthew 26:10), he affirmed that beauty was found in the deed itself and not in the “eyes” of the disciples.

  • “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31).
  • “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Words:

Words are a vital carrier for truth or lies. When we abuse and exploit words for ill-gotten-gains, the enterprise of human communication is distorted and often destroyed. The keepers of nomenclature hold great power to manipulate and control you. Thought itself is degraded. Words can hallow or profane. Use them to hallow.

  • “What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 15:11).
  • “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 12:36-37).

Repentance:

God is love. Thus, He hates evil. Evil not only destroys people, it kills love itself. Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12). Indeed, when evil goes up, love goes down. Evil must not be ignored. Repentance is the sacred ground from which love grows.

  • “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17).
  • “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation.’” (Isaiah 30:15).

Forgiveness:

Repentance may be sacred but it is not a blessing if not followed by forgiveness. Then, forgiveness creates the church (the assembly of the forgiven). Our popular culture considers the church as “primitive,” “narrow,” “irrelevant,” and “provincial.” The truth is, popular culture will soon be all those things in the eyes of future generations. Jesus’ bride (the church), by contrast, is eternal.

  • “You know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.” (1 John 3:5, describing Jesus’ mission).
  • “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ~ Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744).

A Sacred Blessing:

Butterflies are not particularly sacred. However, if one flutters peacefully by when you desperately need a sign of hope from God, it takes on a sacred role. Most rocks are not sacred, but I have a “sacred” one in Malibu where I have sung and played many a song to a canyon. Then there are rainbows. If they are not sacred, I’m not sure what is. God uses such things to bless His children.

Actually, what may be sacred is the painful softness of the human heart that creates our need for butterflies, rocks and rainbows. If nothing is sacred, then pain is unredeemable. But God says it is! There is even transportation power in pain. It can transport some straight to bitterness and grudge-grinding envy. For others, it is the soil from which many tender virtues grow. The invisible factor that makes the difference between these two directions is sacred.

    “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
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About the Author:

Joel graduated from Pepperdine University with a B.A., completing two majors: Art and Religion. He went on to earn the Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. The views expressed on this blog are personal and belong to Joel Solliday unless otherwise stated. They are not, intended to characterize the views of the Lewiston Church of Christ or other organizations to which I may refer.

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