December 28, 2017 | by: 0 Comments|
Brothers & Sisters,
The one resolution you must make this New Year is this: be holy. It is even more important than being healthy, for as John Flavel said, “What health is to the heart, that holiness is to the soul.” Don’t tremble because I said you “must” make this resolution. The truth is I’m not saying anything new. I’m only saying what God has said to each one of us. He has said that we must pursue holiness. Consider Hebrews 12:14, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Strive for peace, and strive for holiness.
If you are going to resolve to change your diet, exercise, be more disciplined about your spending, get home in time for dinner, and if you are going to put a plan in place and employ means to accomplish that plan, then why not put at least that same amount of effort into the pursuit of holiness? God has not positively commanded us to lose weight, but he has positively commanded us to be holy. In 1 Timothy 4:18 we read, “while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
The truth is, holiness doesn’t just happen by accident. It happens through grace-empowered, God glorifying effort and resolve. Maybe this sounds wise (I hope it does), but you don’t know how or why you really should pursue holiness. Well, hang on tight for just a few quick thoughts on how to pursue holiness, and why you should pursue holiness.
The pursuit of holiness is not that complex. Please notice that I did not say it is easy. It is not easy, but neither is it complex. The pursuit of holiness is hard because its path is the continual giving up ourselves to the Lordship of Christ. We pursue holiness through very ordinary means. Holiness is pursued through the mundane methods of daily Bible reading, daily prayer, weekly church attendance, service among the body, and fellowship with believers throughout the week. Holiness is not rocket science, but it requires persistence and patience. As I said, the means to growth in holiness are terribly ordinary, but through their use in the Holy Spirit’s hands they accomplish the extraordinary – God’s people are made more like Jesus.
And that is one reason why we should pursue holiness – to be more like Jesus. That is just another way of saying what God said through Moses and Peter in Leviticus 11:44 and 1 Peter 1:16, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Yes God has commanded it, and in obedience we should keep his commands, but he has also made himself the stimulus, source, and strength of our pursuit of holiness. We want to be holy because God is holy. We want to be holy because heaven is a holy place where our holy God dwells. We want to be holy because we want to be with our God, for without holiness no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). So this New Year, let us, by God’s grace, resolve to be holy.
Warmly in Christ,