Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Called To Be Holy

Called To Be Holy

God says, “Be holy because I am holy.” Sounds like a pretty tall order to live a holy life. In 1 Peter 1:1-12, Peter is celebrating the gift of salvation only found in the saving work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He emphasizes the inheritance of believers and focuses on their ever-increasing joy in God. Based on the privilege we have to live in the days when God’s promises are being fulfilled, Peter calls believers to a holy life based on what God has already done. Look at 1 Peter 1:13-21 with me from the Message Paraphrase:

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”
You call out to God for help and He helps—He’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, He’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.
Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew He was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

First, God has given us an unshakable hope in Jesus Christ so we are to fix our hope completely on what Christ has done. That means reorienting our thinking and live our lives in full trust of God’s promises and provisions. Second, we are to live different lives as God’s chosen people, conforming our lives to God’s character. Our holiness is not based on how good we are, it is based on how good God is through us. God calls us out but does so under His power. So it is not something that needs to be mustered up by the individual. I Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” God not only calls us but provides a way out of the darkness. Third, we are to live in fear. Our Father in Heaven is also our judge who will do the right thing at the end of our earthly existence. Good old fashioned fear of the consequences of life is a healthy mindset to live within.

So, roll up your sleeves and trust fully in God for the resources to live a holy life that is pleasing to Him. He has already done the work. All we need to do is empty ourselves out and be filled with the Spirit of God.

May your day be filled with indescribable peace because of your unflinching dedication to follow God’s Word.

Looking forward to a great day on Sunday as we, “Take Hold of Life.”

Joy in Jesus!

Pastor Mike

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