The Lifting of Holy HandsSeptember 17, 2017
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands….
— 1 Timothy 2:8
I can remember as a young boy when I would sit next to my Grandmother Bagley in church. I would take her hands in mine, and I’d run the tip of my index finger along the bulging blood vessels in her elderly hands. I was amazed at how I could push the vessels one way or the other, and how easily her wrinkly skin moved when I pressed against it. I was particularly fascinated by the liver spots that covered ever-increasing sections of the skin on her upper hand. As I looked at her hands, they told me that her life had not been an easy one.
I’ve always enjoyed looking at hands because the condition of people’s hands tells so many stories about their lives. If people have worked hard, manual-labor jobs over the course of their lives, it can be seen in their hands. If people have served in a top-level professional job, it can usually be detected in the softness they have been able to retain in their hands. Hands tell stories. They are indicative of one’s life.
Think of it! With our hands, we embrace loved ones; we work in our employment; we handle property; we make money; and we touch every sphere of our lives. There is nothing pertaining to our daily lives that we don’t put our hands to in some way.
With people’s hands, both good and evil is done. With hands, others are helped, sin is committed, and communication is carried out. Hands are required in every area of our lives, and they represent us in every way. Thus, our hands become symbolic of our lives.
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The apostle Paul stated, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands…” (1 Timothy 2:8). When we lift our hands to Heaven, we therefore present everything we are, everything we have done, and everything we have to God. When you or I lift our hands in worship, we are lifting up our families, our loved ones, our relationships, our work, our money, and everything else to God.
But Paul specifically said that he wished all men everywhere would lift up “holy” hands. The word “holy” is the Greek word hosios, which describes something that is consecrated or dedicated to God. Thus, when Paul wrote of lifting up “holy” hands, he was expressing his deeply felt longing that men everywhere would present themselves as dedicated and consecrated to God.
When you lift your hands to Heaven, what does God see?
- Does He see a life that is consecrated and dedicated?
- Does He see sin or compromise?
- Does He see sacrifice?
- Does He see commitment?
Paul’s prayer was that men everywhere would do whatever is necessary to present dedicated, consecrated, holy hands to the Lord — which means to present their dedicated, consecrated, holy lives to Him.
So pause for a moment today and look at your hands. What do you see when you look at them? An even bigger question is this: What does God see when He looks at your hands? One thing is for sure: Your hands are not just skin and bones — they are symbols of your life. So each day make sure that you lift up holy hands and give glory to your faithful God. Then offer your hands as holy instruments unto Him, to do His will and to reach out to others with His unconditional, unchanging love!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, You are stirring my heart today to offer myself to You as a holy instrument to do Your will. I realize now that the lifting of my hands to You represents bringing my life to You in yielded surrender. You are calling me to a higher level of dedication, and when I lift my hands to You, that action represents a life lifted in consecration to Your glory. When I look at my hands, help me think seriously about the adjustments I may need to make so I can lift up my life to You in worship with confidence and without compromise.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I proclaim that every day I dedicate myself more and more to Jesus. Today I make a fresh decision to live a life that is consecrated to the purposes of God. Every day I choose to set my attention and affection on Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal to me areas of my life that Jesus longs for me to surrender. I release those areas to His control and submit them to the Lordship of Christ. When I raise my hands in worship, I raise hands that represent purity, dedication, consecration, and total surrender to the will of God!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- The apostle Paul prayed for men to present themselves as living sacrifices, consecrated to God. Can you confidently say that your life is a consecrated life?
- What do you need to do differently and specifically to live a life of consecration? Take a moment to examine your heart and to determine those areas where you know that your ways do not line up with God’s ways. First John 1:9 tells you how to experience a deep cleansing by the blood of Jesus so you can dedicate your life to the Lord in a fuller way.
- What specifically did the Holy Spirit speak to you about today as you read this Sparkling Gem? What action is He leading you to take as a result?