Developing a Holy Lifestyle (I Peter 1:14-16)
I Peter 1:14-16, "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."
This is Peter’s plea for holy living. Those who desire to truly walk with God and make a difference in this world for Him must be holy. Holiness is not negotiable. It is central to the very nature and character of God, and it must be central to our lives. It is impossible for us to have His power and enjoy unhindered fellowship with Him apart from holiness. To be holy people, we must be focused on Christ’s coming, obedient in all of life, and growing in our knowledge of God’s holiness.
The gifted and greatly used Scottish pastor, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, wrote to his missionary friend Daniel Edwards these powerful words in 1840: “Remember you are God’s sword—His instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”
It is not possible to have a lasting, fruitful ministry for God while harboring secret sins. A person may be able to maintain a façade for a while, but eventually the sin will be discovered and the truth will be revealed. Many greatly used men have fallen because they thought they could be holy only on the surface without it affecting their lives and ministries. Holiness must begin in the heart. When we love God as we should--“…with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37)--we will not allow anything that displeases Him to enter or remain in our lives.
But remember, “be holy” actually means, “be becoming holy.” It’s a process. Holiness is formed over a lifetime; it’s not like poof--the moment you turn to Jesus, you’re the final thing. Holiness comes by trying, failing, and continually learning to live a life set apart from the world’s mold.
Holiness takes root in your life as you get into God’s Word and with God’s people, increasingly surrendering your mind and your body to the life God has called you to. Here’s the good news. It’s happening today. God is pouring His character into you with every righteous decision you make to be like His Son. Illustration: A woman from Berne, Switzerland, tells us this story of her country's flower, the Edelweiss. The very name of this plant is a story in itself. Edelweiss is a compound word which in the German language means "noble and white." It is a small perennial herb of the Aster family whose pure white blossom must be sought after, since it nestles in the highest snowy cliffs of the Alps. It is so absolutely white that it blends perfectly with its snowy environment, losing its identifying characteristics completely in its surroundings. Even when picked and pressed in paper for preservation, it remains free from discoloration for many years. It retains its purity. If we are to be like the edelweiss, we must keep ourselves pure and noble, endeavoring to walk with God each day. As we yield to the Holy Spirit and live a godly life, we take on the traits of the Lord Jesus Christ and become more like Him.
· As we are renewed in our personal holiness, the impact of our work for God will increase.
· We should seek to change the world around us rather than the world changing us.
· If someone were to describe your life as a believer, what characteristics would they mention?
· Take account of your life and how you interact with the world around you.
· Daily spend time with God and seek to be a shining light of God's holiness to others.
· As I review my life, in what ways can I say I am not the person I used to be?
· If I were to ask someone close to me, would they notice these changes?
Prayer: Father, it’s amazing that You are not only saving me, You are also transforming me into the likeness of Your Son. However, I need Your help to make the right decisions and live a life that is set apart. I long to “be becoming” holy. Forgive me when I fail, and give me Your strength to succeed. In Jesus’ name, Amen
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