Standing On Holy Ground

Title: Standing On Holy Ground

Bible Book: Exodus 3 : 1-5

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: God, Presence of; Holy Ground



Moses, the man of God, fled the land of Egypt after having incurred the wrath of Pharaoh by killing an Egyptian in defense of his people. He now finds himself in the land of Midian following a flock of sheep belonging to his newly acquired father-in-law, Jethro.

As Moses followed Jethro’s sheep, he no doubt often reflected upon the recent events of his life. According to Acts 7: 25, Moses had hoped that the Israelites would have understood that God had chosen him as their leader by his killing of the abusive Egyptian. However, not only did they not understand, but he was forced to leave Egypt, fearing for his life. How disappointed and confused Moses must have felt.

In retrospect, we can see that had Moses not left Egypt and gone into the desert, he would have missed his appointment with God at the burning bush. It was here that he found himself on holy ground. It was here that he came to know God in a new and personal way, proving that God can use our greatest defeats in life to give us future direction.

I don’t believe that Moses ever forgot that particular experience with God. I believe that Moses learned that wherever we experience God’s presence in a new and vital way is certainly worthy of being   called holy ground. I want us to consider some places that should be considered holy ground, today.

Note the places where we are standing on holy ground.

I. At The Cross

A. Because Of The Body That Was Broken For Us

Isaiah 50:6, “I gave my back to the smiters (Matt.27: 26), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting (Matt.26: 67).”

Isaiah 52:14, “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:”

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Folks, may we never forget that Jesus suffered to set us free. He died for us.

When Lincoln’s body was brought from Washington to Illinois, it passed through Albany and it was carried through the street. They say a black woman stood upon the curb and lifted her little son as far as she could reach above the heads of the crowd and was heard to say to him, “Take a long look, honey. He died for you.” So, if I could, I would lift up your spirit to see Calvary. Take a long look, He died for you. Craig Glickman, Knowing Christ, pg. 89.

B. Because Of The Blood That He Bled For Us

Ephesians 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

Hebrews 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ (Heb.9: 22—“…without shedding of blood is no remission”), who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

This story illustrates my point:

In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy whose sister needed a blood transfusion. The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier. Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease. Since the two children had the same blood type, the boy was the ideal donor.

“Would you give your blood to Mary?” the doctor asked. Johnny hesitated. His lower lip started to tremble. Then he smiled and said, “Sure, for my sister.” Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room—Mary, pale and thin; Johnny, robust and healthy. Neither spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned. As the nurse inserted the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded. He watched the blood flow through the tube.

With the ordeal almost over, his voice, slightly shaky, broke the silence. “Doctor, when do I die?” Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated, why his lip had trembled when he’d agreed to donate his blood. He thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life. In that brief moment, he’d made his great decision. Johnny, fortunately, didn’t have to die to save his sister. Each of us, however, has a condition more serious than Mary’s, and it required Jesus to give not just His blood, but His life. Thomas Lindberg.

C. Because Of The Burden That He Bore For Us

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he (God, the Father) hath made him (God, the Son) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Isaiah 53:6b, “…and the Lord hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.”

It’s hard for our finite human minds to comprehend the fact that Jesus did not merely pay the price for the sins of the world, but, according to the scriptures listed above, He bore the weight and shame of every dirty, rotten thing sinners had ever, or would ever, do. Christ Jesus took upon Himself all our sin.

Jesus, “…endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Heb.12: 2). Can we possibly grasp the utter shame that the sinless Son of God must have felt, as He bore on the cross the awesome sin-burden of the world?

Oh the boundless grace and love of God that was displayed on Calvary. Note this meager illustration of Christ’s vicarious death:

I read about a small boy who was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless, he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father’s full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed.

The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew to be a man, he said, “All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night.” Source - J. Allan Peterson.

D. Because Of The Battle That He Braved For Us

Romans 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

Colossians 2:15, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

John 3:8b, “…for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

The word translated “destroyed” in Rom.6: 6, means, “…to render idle, inactive, inoperative, to cause to cease” (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From The Greek New Testament, Vol. I, Romans In The Greek New Testament, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49502; pg. 101).

In I John 3: 8, the word “destroy” carries a slightly different shade of meaning. Here, the idea is that of “…to loosen, dissolve” (Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From The Greek New Testament, Vol. II, The Exegesis Of I John, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; pg. 149).

Truly, as we go back in our mind’s eye, and stand at the foot of the cross, remembering what Christ did for us there, should we not view it as holy ground? Jesus literally braved the suffering of the cross of Calvary that our sin nature might be rendered inoperative, deprived of power, and its hold upon us dissolved. Praise God!

II. In The Church

Folks, God sees His Church as vitally important. It’s too bad that people often don’t see it the way He does. Someone has made the following observation and suggestion:

When you were born, your mother brought you to church. When you were married, your wife brought you to church. When you die, your friends will bring you to church. Why not try coming on your own sometime? Source Unknown.

A. Because Of Its Great Price

Acts 20:28b, “…feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Ephesians 5:25b, “…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”

Thomas Paine once noted: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly—‘Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.” Folks, God so valued the Church—the Body of Christ, that He was willing to give the very life’s blood of His Son, to bring it into existence. That being the case, should we value God’s Church so lightly that it doesn’t rate our greatest respect, priority, and participation?

B. Because Of Its Great Power

Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Ephesians 2:19-20, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”

Matthew 16:18 is Christ’s response to Peter’s confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God. In other words, Christ, the Son of God, is the foundation upon which the Church is built. Because the true Church is built on the unmovable foundation of Christ, “…the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16: 18b). This does not make reference to attacks by the forces of hell upon the Church, but rather, it is a reference to the onslaught of a militant and victorious Church, against the strongholds of Hell, empowered by Christ Himself.

Ephesians 2:19-20 bring to mind one basic thought: Before Satan can destroy the Church; he’ll have to destroy its Cornerstone—Jesus Christ. That, of course, will never happen. One day Satan will have to bow his knee, and “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Phil.2: 11).

C. Because Of Its Great Purpose

1. The Church Is To Worship The Lord

Matthews 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Psalm 100:2, 4, “Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”

2. The Church Is To Work For The Lord

Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Corinthians 5:20a,“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ…”

Titus 2:14,“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

III. In Christ

Here’s an all-important question for you today: Are you in Christ? I’m not asking if you believe that Jesus lived, or whether you believe that He died on the cross. I’m asking whether you know Christ as your personal Savior. “The life of Christianity consists of possessive pronouns,” says Martin Luther. It is one thing to say, “Christ is a Saviour;” it is quite another thing to say, “He is my Saviour and my Lord.” The devil can say the first; the true Christian alone can say the second.

A. Because We Are Cherished By Him

Luke 12:6-7, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings (approximately 8 cents), and not one of them is forgotten before God? 7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

John 15:9, 12-13, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

B. Because We Are Confident In Him

1. We Are Acceptable To God Because Of Him

Ephesians 1:8b, “…he hath made us accepted in the beloved (Jesus).”

God knew exactly what you and I were when He saved us. We were nothing more than spiritual vagabonds; but even so, He loves us and accepts us in Christ Jesus.

The Knife:

One Sunday afternoon our family gathered around our big oak table for dinner. Soon my daughter Kate’s laughter rose above the talk. “Gram, you’re silly!” she said. We all turned to see my mom delicately lifting to her mouth a small strand of peas on the blade of her knife. All but one pea made it, and everyone clapped. Then Mom told us the story behind her unorthodox technique:

“When I was little we didn’t have much. It was the Depression. But we did have a table full of food because my father grew wonderful vegetables. Lots of hobos, who had jumped from the train, wandered onto our property, looking for a meal. More often than not an extra seat was pulled up to our dinner table.

“One summer afternoon I was sweeping the kitchen floor when my father’s voice came through the screen door: ‘Lizzy, set another plate. We have company tonight.’ Our guest paused in the doorway, and dipped his head in a gesture of gratitude. ‘Looks like he doesn’t speak much English,’ Dad said, ‘but he’s hungry like we are. His name is Henry.’

“When dinner was ready, Henry stood until we were all seated, then gently perched on the edge of his chair, his head bowed and his hat in his lap. The blessing was said and dishes were passed from hand to hand.

“We all waited, as was proper, for our guest to take the first bite. Henry must have been so hungry he didn’t notice us watching him as he grabbed his knife. Carefully he slid the blade into the pile of  peas before him, and then lifted a quivering row to his mouth without spilling a single pea. He was eating with his knife! I looked at my sister May and we covered our mouths to muffle our snickers.

Henry took another knifeful, and then another.

“My father, taking note of the glances we were exchanging, firmly set down his fork. He looked me in the eye, then took his knife and thrust it into the peas on his plate. Most of them fell off as he attempted to lift them to his mouth, but he continued until all the peas were gone.

“Dad never did use his fork that evening, because Henry didn’t. It was one of my father’s silent lessons in acceptance. He understood the need for this man to maintain his dignity, to feel comfortable in a strange place with people of different customs. Even at my young age I understood the greatness of my father’s simple act of brotherhood.”

Mom paused, looked at her grandchildren, and winked as she plowed her knife into a mountain of peas. Contributed by Cori Connors, of Farmington, Utah, to Guideposts, March 1997, p. 36.

2. We Have Access To God Because Of Him

Ephesians 3:12, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

3. Our Prayers Are Answered Because Of Him

1 John 3:21, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

John 14:13-14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

C. Because We Are Complete In Him

Colossians 2:9-10, “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

Kenneth Wuest offers some rather remarkable truths found in the words, “And ye are complete in him…” (Col.2: 10a).

Literally it is, “And you are in Him, having been filled full, with the present result that you are in a state of fullness.” Paul says in Ephesians 3: 19, “In order that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Vincent says; “Not, ye are made full in Him, but ye are in Him, made full. In Him dwells the fullness; being in Him, ye are filled.” Lightfoot says; “Being fulfilled with a direct reference to the preceding pleroma; ‘your fullness comes from His fullness; His pleroma (fullness) is transfused into you by virtue of your incorporation in Him.’”


1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From The Greek New Testament, Vol. I, Ephesians And Colossians In The Greek New Testament, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49502; pg. 204.

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