In the Word Wednesdays – Week One

Embraced By Holiness - Arms Open Wide

I’m so excited to be studying the Scriptures with you! It was a beautiful day when we filmed so we set up on my front porch. I underestimated the Texas wind… my hair puts on quite a show! There are a couple places where, for just a second or two, the sound is a little muffled because I’m fighting my hair. Hope it gives you a bit of a laugh and doesn’t take away from the study. Here’s your Week 1 video.

I really want to hear from you in the comments. Remember, if it is just me doing the talking this won’t be nearly as helpful or fun!

If you need some help with how to leave a comment review the tutorial by clicking here. (It will open in a new window so you can refer back to it while leaving your comment, if you need to.)

If you for some reason you don’t have time to (or couldn’t) view the video, here are the highlights and the discussion questions.

Video Highlights

Day 1:

On pages 15 and 16, I called attention to Kathy’s explanation of how God requires holiness and his Holy Spirit provides us with the power to be holy. We talked about turning toward God and away from sin.

Day 2:

We need to understand who God is and what it means that he is holy. I want to hear your response to the “key” question on p. 20.

Day 3:

I read Deuteronomy 7:17-19 and asked you to share your response to the “Sprout/leaf/growth” question on p. 24.

Additionally I asked you to share a 2-3 sentence synopsis of a time when God proved bigger than some obstacle you faced. So, please share to the level you’re comfortable and remember this is a public forum, so no names or identifying details unless you have the person’s permission to share.

Day 4:

I highlighted the hilarious illustration Kathy shared about her daughter getting stuck. Then I talked about Kathy’s observation of how God has taken us, like the children of Israel, from chains, to chosen, to covenant.

Day 5:

I highlighted the great story Kathy shared about Nicky Cruz and then shared the following two quotes from the book.

Holiness in God’s people attracts others to God like light beckons us to leave the darkness.”Kathy Howard
Imagine what would happen if instead of cursing the darkness we invaded it with light.”Nicky Cruz

Your last discussion question is found on p. 31 (it has the sprout/growth/leaf icon) Please share your response to that question.

Preview Week 2:

We’re going on a treasure hunt to discover the various ways God reveals himself and his holiness to us.

Memory Verse for Week 2:

I’ve chosen the following as our memory verse for this week as it highlights how Christ is the supreme revelation of God’s holiness.

Colossians 1:15 from the New Living Translation (but feel free to choose whatever translation you prefer):

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.”

Have a wonderful Week 2 in God’s Word! And I can’t wait to discuss all this with you in the comments. You’re very precious to me and I’m so glad you’re coming along with me on this adventure!

Blessings of truth and grace,


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I hope you'll jump into the conversation by leaving a comment. I would love for each post to be like a dinner party conversation in which many people participate, each adding their own perspectives and ideas. Just keep in mind that we want to treat others as we would like to be treated, so please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Feel free to post viewpoints and ideas that differ from mine or others but refrain from personal attacks or offensive language. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or which demean or belittle another member of the Making It Real community.

  • Patti McCartney

    Hi Laura and all, I am still waiting on my book, due tomorrow =( from Amazon. So I will get caught up and join the discussion next week!

    • Thanks for letting us know. I look forward to hearing your responses next week.

  • davi

    When I think of how God is holy, I think of sheer perfection, love, honor, grace, truth- totally set apart and unreachable by any human being. But then I find myself confused. Because we are called to be holy, too. And while none of us is perfect, I do see how, with God’s help, we can remain in a constant state of striving to be holy as He is holy. And when I say striving, I don’t mean that as a chore or “works”, but rather something that comes naturally from our loving relationship with The Lord.

    But then there is the “unreachable” part. While God’s perfection is unreachable, He desires to be WITH us. So, in what seems almost inconceivable, He IS accessible IN his holiness. He reaches out to us with an inviting love. When he calls us to be holy – to be the light that calls people out of the darkness – our holiness, like God’s holiness, can be intimidating to those we are trying to reach. So it’s critical that our set-apartness includes the mercy, grace and love that is inviting and attractive to the world.

    I think we’ve been called to be campfires-warm, beautiful, inviting on a chilly night. I have to be careful to not seem as a flood light- powerful, blinding and intimidating…
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    • I LOVE your campfire metaphor! That captures exactly the idea of being a warm, beckoning light in the darkness. It is a challenge to be set apart to God (holy) without giving off the “holier than thou” negative vibe to the world. That’s where leading with grace and presenting truth with love is essential to being able to beckon with the light rather than blind with it. You’re so right.

      I think as we look to Jesus, he gives us great examples for how to be holy in a way that extends grace, mercy, and love without compromising his holiness and God’s truth about sin and its consequences. It is a very hard tightrope to walk and I think that is why Jesus continually emphasized that we would not be able to do it without his power, wisdom, discernment, love, and grace flowing through us via the Holy Spirit. It is that mysterious combination of our submitting to the leadership of the Spirit and at the same time committing ourselves to actively living out of the grace we ourselves have found at the cross. I find that when I’m vividly aware of how much God has forgiven me and how desperately I continually need his grace, I am so much more willing and able to extend grace to others. I’m also motivated to respond to God by doing my best to live as he calls me to live.

      Thanks for putting such thought into your study and your response. I know your words will minister to anyone who reads them. They sure did that for me!

  • Robin Fogle

    God’s holiness to me is pure truth, life sustaining, the deepest breath, the perfect peace, grace beyond understanding.
    We are in the process of a transition in our family. Obedience to God is our mode of operation on this journey. I am certain God has prepared this all for us and he will carry us through.
    I think as a mom the one change that I could make that would cause others to glorify God is to smile & be patient.
    I want to thank you Laura. This could not have come at a better time.

    • Robin, I’m so glad you’re joining us. Transitions are tough! I will be praying for your family. Your trust in God and attitude of obedience is such a great way to approach the times of uncertainty. As a mom, I loved your response about being patient and smiling. I need to do more of both of those, myself. Your description of God’s holiness was beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing the journey with us through this study. I pray God will bless you in a big, big way!

  • Patti McCartney

    Got the book and getting caught up!
    I wrote that God’s holiness is perfection, free of flaws or frailty, free of sin, pure.
    God has put on my heart to be more OBEDIENT!, increase my time in prayer with him, and listen for His voice which I will hear when I am obedient and increase my time in prayer. (!)
    When I follow these commands, I take the attention off my stuff and tend to focus on others and lift them in prayer. God blesses this obedience with holiness which others see and want to understand and be a part of.

    • Beautifully put, Patti. I have noticed the same thing in my life. God blesses obedience with more of his presence. He always loves us, but like any good parent, he doesn’t reward disobedient behavior. But when we are submitted to him and living as he instructs he is able to bless us richly with his presence and blessing.

      Also, I loved how you connected your ability to hear his voice to your time spent listening for it. Sooooo true for me, too!