I played the position of catcher in Little League baseball. I played catcher in Pony League baseball. I spent a lot of time behind home plate – thousands of innings. During all these years of baseball, I noticed something. The width of home plate never changed. It was always 17 inches wide. Its dimensions were never up for discussion. And from home plate in baseball, I see a perfect analogy to the Christian life.
When a pitcher couldn’t throw the ball over the 17-inch wide mark, the umpire didn’t offer to widen it. He never said, “Hey, buddy, I’m going to get a new plate just for you. Would 25 inches help?”
No, the width of the plate was immutable. We might even call it holy, because the idea of holiness in the Bible is, in many ways, like the home plate in baseball. Holiness describes something that is “set apart” and predetermined by God. Popular opinion cannot change it. Majority rule does not alter it. My preference does not affect it. The Supreme Court cannot change it. When God deems something as holy, it is holy from Little League to the Majors, from the beginning of life to the end of life.
Would it not be wise, then, for us to take note of what God considers holy? What is holy to God? Why is it holy? Search the Scripture for what God considers holy and the list may surprise you.
1. You are holy.
Peter said, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9). If you are a Christ-follower, there is nothing hum-drum about you. By virtue of your union with Christ, you participate in the life of God. His holiness is your holiness.
2. Human life is holy.
God sanctifies human life. Every beating heart matters to God. Whether that life is in the womb of a mother, the cell of a prison, the hallway of a convalescent home, or the corner office of a Wall Street high rise, that life is holy to God. “For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16).
3. Marriage is holy.
When the wedding officiant speaks of holy matrimony, the term is accurate. Jesus described a marriage as “what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:6). Marriage is unlike your friendship at the bridge club or your relationship with your siblings. It is “set apart” from business partnerships.
4. Sex is holy.
Many people see sex as recreation, in the same league as golf or sailing. God sees sex as a unique portrayal of divine intimacy. “Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband” (Hebrews 13:4). God is not anti-sex. After all, he invented it! He regards it as a holy act, a portrayal of the relationship he desires with us.
5. The Sabbath is holy.
Let six days be used for work and acquisition. But set one aside for spiritual and physical restoration. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Under the older covenant, this day was Saturday. As Christians, we set aside Sunday, though many Christians still observe a Saturday Sabbath.
6. The tithe is holy.
“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord” (Leviticus 27:30). The first ten percent of everything you earn is, in God’s eyes, holy money. We never give it to God; we return it to what is already his. The tithe is holy.
7. The name of God is holy.
“No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name” (Exodus 20:7). Satan never prompts us to say, “Satan-dammit” or “demon-damn you.” Profanity is his way of rubbing the luster off the name of God. He has a simple ploy: dilute the divine name by making it common. For that reason, God fearing people revere the very name of God. It is holy.
About the Author
Max Lucado is a best-selling author and the pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. A graduate of Abilene Christian University, Lucado is considered one of the most beloved authors in the Christian community. Winner of the cherished Gold Medallion Book Award, Max and his wife Denalyn have three grown daughters.