Daily Devotional | Living In Holiness–Part 2

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 NIV
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

See it at YouVersion.com:http://bible.us/1Thess4.7.NIV

The words of Scripture are not words of advice. Through his Word, God has revealed to us how he expects us to live. These words ought to be welcomed by us. We are wanderers lost in a dark forest and God has placed before us the map that will direct our way home. And yet we frequently treat the Bible as a book of suggestions or antiquated ideas rather than a life giving revelation from God.
The mere mention of the word holiness invokes images of the heaven rending. Most people envision a picturesque scene depicting God high and lifted on a throne. Angels surround Him crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.” If we ever get to a point where we wrap our minds around the holiness of God, then like Isaiah, we’ll realize just how unworthy we are to be in His presence. 
Like the disciples in the first chapter of Acts (See Acts 1:10), we gaze upward toward heaven and see an ascending Christ. And in the same way, we are gently reminded: “Why do you stand gazing up into heaven?” (Acts 1:11)
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in God’s holiness that we forget God’s requirement for our own.
This is precisely what the disciples experienced on that day. They were so wrapped up in Jesus’ ascension and holiness they nearly forgot there was a Great Commission to carry out. They almost forgot the commission to live a holy lifestyle in an unholy culture. They nearly missed their destiny. The Gospel may have never reached the ends of the earth had the disciples failed to realize this: While it’s important to look up, it’s just as important to look out.
Since the One who called us is holy, we are called to be holy in our conduct as well. Holiness is about being set apart, but not living apart from our society and culture.
The First Epistle of Peter puts it well: “Live an exemplary life [a life of holiness] among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” (1 Peter 2:11 The Message). Did you see that? Our holy and exemplary lifestyle is to be lived among the natives. Your holiness isn’t just for you. Your holiness isn’t just for Sunday mornings. Your holiness isn’t just for Church conferences or retreats. Your holiness isn’t to be used for your personal gain. Your holiness is for others outside of the faith to see, ultimately winning them over to God’s side. When was the last time your conduct won someone else over to God’s side?
We must not disregard the words of God as given to us through other people. The preacher or teacher who tells you to be holy, the parent who tells you to avoid sin, the book that tells you to obey God – these are not agents working against you but are beacons of the light of truth, shining that light into your life. If you disregard such words it is not the messenger you ignore, it is the author. You disregard not man, you disregard God.
As Christians, we should allow our lifestyles to become examples to those who have not embraced our values and faith. Maybe then we’ll begin to impact a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile toward people of faith. Outsiders observing holiness in God’s people outside of the proverbial “four walls of the church” just might increase their trust in the Gospel and those who proclaim it. Holiness is, at its core, the demonstration of the Kingdom of God on Earth…among the natives.
Look out! This means looking out to a hurting, dying world. This means looking out and demonstrating a godly lifestyle to a society void of a godly conscience. Only then will we be able to fully comprehend God’s command repeated in Peter’s First Epistle: “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).
Scripture of the Day: “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 1:15-16 (NKJV)
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
TLWMI. Copyright Reserved, 2011
(must use with written permission)

About thelivingwordministries

The senior pastor and overseer of The Living Word Ministries Evanston, IL since 2010, the author of 'Living Victoriously' by Author-house publishers. My passion is present and lead others into Pure Praise, Pure Worship and Pure Word. This means that at our Church, the integrity of the Gospel is held to the letters, just as Jesus Christ preached and lived it. Come and join us, and God will surely Bless you mighty!
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