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Sermon Illustrations: Holiness

Simeon was 13 years old, and like many of his contemporaries in the 5th century he thought that the only way he could get closer to God was by punishing his body. So he gave up his job and went into a monastery, but it was too easy. So after trying different things, he found a 60-foot pillar in the wilderness with a platform three feet wide and climbed to the top. His disciples would put food and water in a basket he'd lower down. He'd pray and often stand with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, sometimes up to eight hours at a time. Other times he'd bow over and over again, almost touching the platform with his head. Once he did it 1,240 times before he collapsed on the platform. He remained on the platform, in all kinds of weather, for 37 years!

Holiness is not just living by a bunch of man-made rules and regulations. I heard a preacher tell this story. He went to the USA to preach and forgot his wedding ring. When he went to the first church they said, "Brother, we'd like you to preach, but you're a married man. And we see that you're not wearing a wedding ring. Any married man who preaches here, must wear a wedding ring." So he went and bought a wedding ring. When he got to the next church they said, "Brother, we'd like you to preach here, but we don't believe in wearing jewellery and you're wearing a wedding ring."