To Be Holy

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ— as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance, but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy; for I am holy.”        1 Peter 1:13-16 (WEB)

Too often we look at references to God’s words “…be holy; for I am holy” and dismiss them. “Oh, well, I can’t be holy like God so there’s no use me trying!” Well, duh. It’s in my list along with: “I don’t deserve Jesus’ sacrifice and His grace and mercy.” Well, double-duh! Now let’s move on!

Peter knew what it meant to be unworthy, didn’t he? And yet here is Peter telling me to turn away from my old ways and look at God’s holiness as my standard. Did Peter say this because he had achieved it? No way. Peter saw himself as the least but forgiven any way. And here was the way to move toward God’s holiness.

Prepare your minds for action. Don’t sit around and become a Christian Couch Potato. Spend time every day in Scripture. Pray (have a conversation) with God every day. Exercise that brain muscle so that it is ‘tuned up’ for spiritual action.

Be sober. I think of myself as a charismatic Christian. My faith is an ‘experiential’ faith. My relationship with God is intimate and personal. There was a time when I ran from ‘mountain top’ to ‘mountain top’ in my time with God. If I was ecstatic, then it was like I needed a ‘fix’. Jesus faithfully stuck with me and that relationship has grown and has a strength that comes with maturity. It is no less intimate but the intimacy does not depend on the ‘mountain top’. Even in a valley, Jesus and I meet. And most days, we are walking along – just a path. Let us be filled with the Spirit that produces joy, wisdom, peace, perseverance, strength, etc.

set your hope fully on the grace. I cannot help but tear up when I read these words. No matter what the circumstance of my day, my life, I have hope and it comes from the great love (grace) through Jesus. It is Jesus’ love revealed in so many aspects of who He is. It keeps unfolding and pouring into my heart, refilling that hope that has leaked out from the wounds of this world’s war. Hope does spring eternally through Jesus.

not conforming…but…you yourselves also be holy in all your behavior. Another way of saying I am not to conform to the world but instead be an alien, holy and set apart. I will live in the world but not be of the world. Jesus is my standard and what I am always moving toward. Jesus never set Himself above those He served so that He could be of no good to them. He also never had one spot of unholiness. Jesus was fully human and fully God. He lived what I am living and still was holy.

Today is a day that God has made. Let us choose to be holy in it, as Jesus is holy in it.

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