"Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. . . . He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness." - Psalm 96:9, 13
God is perfectly beautiful "in the splendor of his holiness." The more we know about God's perfect holiness, the more we realize that we are not perfectly holy and beautiful. We realize we don't live up to the way God created us to live. We don't love other people the way God wants them to be loved. We don't live the way God designed us to live. Our sin separates us from God, because sinfulness cannot stand in the presence of God's perfect, beautiful holiness.
Psalm 96 describes the greatness and splendor of God, who is perfectly holy and calls us to come before him with an offering. We are called to "worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness," and yet we know how often we have failed to live as God commands. How can we truly worship God if we are not holy?
The good news that we know today is that God deals with the imperfection of our sin by giving us his perfect grace. God chooses to get rid of our sin—not by punishing us—but by taking the punishment on himself in Jesus. The more we see God's perfection, the more we know our own imperfection. And the more we know our own imperfection, the more we are grateful for God's perfect love, which accepts us by grace through the gift of Jesus' life for us.
Holy God, we confess that our lives do not reflect the perfect beauty of who you are. We need your forgiveness and grace to bring us back to you. Amen.