Defining Holiness – Part III
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:13-25
Key Verse: Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Yesterday’s devotional reminded us that God made us holy on the inside instantly when we accepted Jesus and His work on the cross. Once we confessed our sins and asked for forgiveness, God made us as holy as we will ever be, and ready for heaven.
However, God wants us to shine bright to our world, so He gives us the work of making our outer visible selves holy. Of course, we never will be perfect in our outward behavior. Slowly but surely, the Spirit of God helps us with the bad habits that we had before Christ entered our lives.
Today, let’s look at one of the mysteries about God’s work in our outer lives. God takes away “some” of our old habits instantly.
For example, I have heard testimonies of some people that the moment God saved them they never said another curse word. And some never smoked another cigarette. But know that these same people still had other things to work on, usually more substantial things.
In my experience, I have never met anyone that God instantly transformed into a person that had nothing to work in their outer selves. Though it is wonderful to hear a person testify to the instantaneous delivery from a bad habit, I always cringe if they don’t go on to tell that they still had plenty to work on to become more Christ-like.
Those kinds of testimonies can discourage a new believer that is wrestling with the same bad habit that another believer testifies that God instantly delivered them from. Always remember that we all have things in our life that God is slowly rooting out.
Our Key Verse tells all believers to “make every effort” at living in peace with people and being holy. If I could walk through your past month, would I see evidence that you were making every effort to be holy?
The Apostle Peter reminds us that “Kingdom Fitness” demands us to be holy:
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. (1 Peter 1:15)
God judges our intentions, and it is in our intentions that we can be holy.
(More on intentions tomorrow.)
Father, I need Your help in making every effort to conform to Your likeness. As You lead me, I will follow. Grant me strength to overcome the cravings of my flesh. I ask this in Jesus’s Name, amen.