November 23, 2019
To be holy is to be like God Himself. To be set apart, different from the sinfulest parts of the world. To be sanctified. To see our body and soul cleansed from the ever-present defilement of sin.
We are not completely, outwardly holy (in the daily, practical sense) the moment we come to Christ. We are seen before God as completely clean, but we still live in a world that influences us. We can fail to live up to our new birthright. Holiness is a choice made possible by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in us. But there is a switch that turns this pursuit of practical holiness on: it is our will.
We must desire holiness or we will choose unholiness at every turn because of the world and its incessant pressures, the weakness of our humanity, and the ever-present deception of the Evil One.
WHAT WE VALUE
… determines everything about us. If we are convinced that some unholy practice is valuable to us, we will choose it repeatedly. That’s why it is so important to read our Bibles; to listen to God as He gives us His perfect reasoning to renew our minds about the “why” beyond holiness.
It is an illustration of holiness’ possibility that God chose the formerly brash, denying Peter as an author to show us the value of choosing holiness.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)
I must choose holiness today because ...
“As obedient children … you shall be holy” (vs. 14, 16)
“Do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance” (vs. 14)
“Like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy” (vs. 16)
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ (vs. 18-19)
“He has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (vs. 20b-21)
The greatest miracle upon this earth is not the mere creation of everything that is, but that God could take a completely fallen, depraved individual and transform them to be like Himself. God is accomplishing this every common day in millions of His followers and one day will complete their transformation in heaven.
With this confidence, purpose, and joy, I gladly choose holiness today.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020