by Pastor Mark Jordan
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” (1 Peter 1:14-16, NIV)
Last week we began exploring what it means to be different. It can be boiled down to one word, holiness. The idea is we are called to be set apart from the world. We are to live in it, but not be of it. As a result, you cannot conform to the old worn out way of doing things, but be transformed into living for God.
The concept of holiness can be hard for some to grasp. The thought and fear is we can never be good enough, so why even try? The truth is you never can be good enough all on your own. This is why you need Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s eternal knowledge and love to enlighten and guide you. God wants you to be holy, because He is holy. Peter quoted that out of Leviticus 11:44-45 as God commanded the Israelites to be holy in their new life in the Promised Land. But lest you think that is just some Old Testament ideal to prove that one can never attain holiness on his or her own, Jesus referenced this Himself in the Sermon on the Mount when He said to be perfect because your Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Jesus would never tell you to do something that was utterly impossible. Holiness and Christian perfection are attainable, but only by the power of God’s Holy Spirit living and reigning within you.
God wants you to be set apart, to be holy, to be different. His Holy Spirit is essential to achieve this, but there are some strategies you can employ to help you along the way. We will explore those in greater detail throughout the week, but for now, remember that you are called to be part of God’s forever family as one of His precious children, and He wants you to be holy as you live with and for Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I confess that I can struggle with the idea of holiness when left to my own limited knowledge and abilities. By your Holy Spirit, help me to know that holiness isn’t just possible, but it is your way. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.