Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Be Holy for I Am Holy

How pure and holy should Christians really be? Peter answers that question by saying, “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16). The apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1). When Christians understand the tremendous sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf then we should be extremely motivated to make sure that we live our lives pure and holy for Jesus. He suffered and gave His life so that we can have our sins forgiven and what He expects from us that we appreciate what He did for us, and be determined to live holy lives so that we can gain an eternal home with our Lord and Savior one day.

In addition, every Christian is a saint (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; 2:19). When we realize that we are holy saints then we should ensure that we absolutely set ourselves apart in full service to God. Peter writes, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10). The point I am trying to make in these short lessons is that we must understand that Christians are a special people and should strive to please Jesus in every single thing that we do. Before doing anything we should ask ourselves this very important question: “Would Jesus do it?” If we really want to please Him, then we will answer the question honestly, knowing that Jesus sits in judgment (John 12:48). May we all strive to "perfect holiness" in our day to day lives!


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Error and Sin

What is my responsibility toward error and sin? The Bible teaches that we are to expose it. Paul writes, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). When one commits sin, any sin, then one is not in the right relationship (fellowship) with God. It is very important that we are in the proper fellowship with God because if we are not, then we will be condemned. John writes, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:6-7). Christians need to be thinking about this on a daily basis. We must ensure that we are in fact in the proper fellowship with God. There is no room in the Christian’s life for darkness (sin). When we confessed before God that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and then buried in the watery grave of baptism all of our sins were washed away. We arose from the water free of sin, and determined to live a life devoted in service to God. We now are living a new life dedicated to His service and determined to expose sin! Romans 6:3-11 shows us how we are now changed to live fully and completely for Jesus. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every Christian took their baptism and “new” life seriously, understanding that sin is no longer part of our life in any way? Every Christian should now be devoted to Christ, following in His steps, as evidenced by our every action. We need more Christians to stand up and truly be counted as loyal members of the body of Christ. Can others really see Christ living in us?


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Obedience to God

We often talk about the fact that we must obey God and for the most part every Christian will quickly agree that this is a fact. Unfortunately there are many Christians who are not obeying God in all aspects of their life. We cannot say that obedience to God is necessary and then not try to obey God. Jesus clearly stated that we cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24). The disciples were willing to be severely persecuted, even put to death, for the honor and privilege to be able to proclaim God’s Holy and inspired word so that others may be saved (Acts 5:29).

Why is it so important that we obey all the teachings of God? Because Jesus clearly tells us that He will only save those who obey Him. The Hebrew writer says, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus will judge us by His word. He said, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him — the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). We must take this very seriously. If we go through life here on earth understanding that Jesus will judge us according to what we have done, then we must DO His will and not just talk about it. We will only be able to reap the benefits of eternal life with our Lord when we are truly faithful to Him as we live here on earth (Revelation 2:10). I want to encourage all of us to please think about what we are doing. Does God really see us living in such a way that we are 100% committed in our life and service to Him? Remember, Jesus will judge us and His judgment is fair.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Stay the Course

God has promised us that if we are with Him then He will be with us. Azariah the prophet of God spoke to King Asa and said, “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). One can read about King Asa in chapters 14-16 of 2 Chronicles. When Asa sought God then he was blessed in all that he did. He was able to destroy an Egyptian army of a million men because he sought God first. As a result of his reliance on God, he and the kingdom of Judah enjoyed 35 years of peace. In chapter 16 we learn that God forsook Asa because he began to leave God out of his decisions. In the 41st year of Asa’s reign, he became diseased in his feet and still did not seek the Lord’s help. Asa died having devoted the first 35 years of his life in faithful service to God but unfortunately he made some very foolish decisions, not relying on God as he did earlier in his life and service as the King of Judah.

The life of King Asa should teach all of us something today. Hanani, the prophet spoke these powerful words: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him...” (2 Chronicles 16:9). We can know that if we will dedicate our life fully and completely to God, then He will prosper us. But if we choose to put anyone or anything ahead of Him, then we will not prosper. To the loyal Christian, God is our strength, hope, and salvation. Stay the course! Continue to be “.....steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We must be faithful until the very end of our life here on earth in order to receive the crown of righteousness (Revelation 2:10)!