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18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

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8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2
 

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – May 28, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – May 28, 2020

Holiness is Our Friend

By Jodie Montgomery

 

Some things I just want to force. I love hydrangeas: big blooms, variations of color, bold green leaves, fullness. I know they do not flourish in Florida, but I still plant every hydrangea received as a gift. I babied them in my own non-green thumb, forgetful way and for years watched them stay little. I knew they needed the right environment to grow and produce flowers. I didn’t have the means to recreate that environment. I felt I shouldn’t invest in the plant even though there are advertised varieties for Florida so I stayed planting the small hydrangeas that my husband and mom would give me to celebrate spring. This year, in the midst of COVID, there are living, vibrant, full hydrangeas that grew to window ledge height on our back patio. The right conditions for their productiveness happened.

 

Holiness is also a vibrant, living, fullness in Christ. Holiness is good. Holiness is protective. Holiness is healing. Holiness glorifies the One Who loves us most. Holiness is the basis of physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Within the church, where there is Bible study, prayer, fellowship, repentance, and serving (all key components of discipleship), holiness should thrive. Holiness is not an expectation for the unbeliever. Holiness is the passion of the child of God. 

 

Living in Florida, I had forgotten how much a hedge of giant hydrangeas delights. I had forgotten this reminder of abundant life.  I can also forget my friend holiness when distracted by what the culture defines as life-giving or valuable as holiness does not go hand in hand with too many cultural norms. Sometimes it takes a long time for me to remember and return to my friend. 

 

Thankfully, Holiness does not hide from God’s children and is unwavering in His commitment to bear full abundant life.

 

2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.” “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.