“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”" – 1 Peter 1:14-16
Whenever I see an older Remington 11-87, I think of the time my friend Ox literally shaved a couple of hundred dollars off of the value of one of his grandpa’s shotguns. Let me explain.
When Michael was just a wee lad, his granddad, Arque (pronounced “RQ”) won a commemorative 11-87 12 gauge at a DU banquet. It was a nice piece with gold inlay throughout the metal scroll work…something you don’t see on a normal shotgun…something for sure Ox had never seen.
Arque laid the 11-87 on a table and went into another room where he became busy and forgot about the gun. At some point during the evening, Michael strolled through the room and like any red-blooded boy, was automatically drawn to the shiny 12 gauge like a moth to an open flame. As he looked over the shotgun he noticed yellow stuff all in the fancy etching so he promptly found a toothpick and sewing needle and began tracing the lines in order to remove what he thought was some kind of funny looking dirt.
After spending a lot of time at this task, he proudly took the 11-87 to his grandpa to show him how he had “cleaned” Arque’s new gun. Mike’s grandpa, who was a quiet, even-keeled man, took one look at his commemorative shotgun sans the gold inlay and said – well I can’t print what he said but you get the picture.
Here’s the point. Michael took a unique shotgun and turned it into an ordinary 11-87. We do the same thing when we live life on the lesser planes of habit and “have-to” instead of displaying the riches of our gracious Father who, according to the Scriptures, has given us everything.
When people hear the word “holy”, they usually have misconstrued ideas of unobtainable spirituality. Nothing could be further from the truth. The word “holy” means unique; set apart. When God says for us to be holy we must first understand He is stating what has already happened. Through the work of Christ’s life, death and resurrection and our faith in Him as Savior and Lord, we are made unique. And it is out of this God-empowered reality that we live our lives so that there is something extraordinary; something that points to His divine work. We don’t become holy by doing so many holy acts. Because of Christ we are holy and thus we simply live out that truth.
So the next time you think holiness is unobtainable, remember God made you to be a commerative work that attests to His grace and mercy. And if Ox tries to sell you a DU 11-87, I would pass.
Blessings to you boys,