I have separated you from the peoples, that ye should be Mine. - Leviticus 20:26 (R. V.)
"Separate me Barnabas and Saul," said the Holy Ghost. And in after days Paul spoke of himself as being separated unto the Gospel of God. It is a mistake to make the act of separation our own resolve and deed. We shall inevitably drop back unless God has come into the transaction, and has set us apart for Himself. We must be separated from sin and sinners unto a holy God.
We are needed for a specific purpose. - God can bless men only through men. As once He used the Jews to be the medium of communicating His truth to men, so now He is eager to use His Church; if only she will allow Him to deliver her from the taint of sin and the world, and separate her for a peculiar possession unto Himself. Let us individually yield ourselves to the blessed influences of the Holy Spirit, that He may realize in us the purpose for which He has called us.
We are required to satisfy God's heart. - He needs love for love. Throughout the world He seeks for those who can afford Him pleasure, as His enclosed gardens, His sealed fountains, His peculiar treasure.
This separation is effected by the Holy Ghost, and is referred to in the word "sealing." "He hath sealed us unto the day of redemption."
What an honor is this! To be for God Himself: to do His errands, to fulfill His behests and give Him pleasure! Rejoice greatly when God says, "Thou art Mine." We also can take up His words, and answer back, "Thou also art mine." Let us be glad, if we know that the oil of separation has come on our heads, and let us walk worthily of our high calling, separated to the Holy Ghost, and counting it sacrilege to be used for any unholy purpose.
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8
A friend of mine waited after a banquet for a parking attendant to bring his car. A woman’s auto came first, and she got in as the motor idled. Suddenly her accelerator jammed, and the car sped out of control toward people leaving a restaurant. Thankfully, no one was injured. Had the woman turned off the ignition, the danger would have ended immediately. When Jesus “destroyed” the works of the devil at the cross, the Greek term means He made Satan’s power inoperable. If you are God’s covenant child through Christ, you don’t have to race through life under the devil’s control.
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In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul presses home the point of just how important love really is. Let's start with verse 1,
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
Paul does not say the gift of tongues isn't legitimate or genuine. But if there is not a heart of love behind it, it is just noise. You see, the water picks up the taste of the pipe that it flows through. If the pipe isn't clean, the water can pick up a pretty nasty taste, even though it is still genuinely water.
So also the gift can be genuine, but it is more noise than anything else to the hearts of the people who hear it if it is not accentuated by love.
Let's move to verse 2,
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Notice he did not say the gifts are nothing. The gifts are genuine. He says you are nothing. From heaven's point of view, you are defined by your character, not by your accomplishments. The world tends to define people by their accomplishments. In heaven's books, however, you are defined by your character.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing (verse 2).
It does not say the poor won't profit, but you won't profit. You lose your reward if your heart is not right.