Define It - HPD (Holiness Police Dept.)
Monday, March 12
I Peter 1:16
since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
One of the most important, yet seemingly difficult to obtain, aspects of your Christian walk is holiness. The church by and large has serious misconceptions about what ‘holiness’ looks like. The average person, even Christians, equate holiness to being religious, pious, haughty, and overly sensitive in some weird spiritual way. The problem with that thought process, and the reason why so many are turned off to Christianity, is that this is nowhere close to what holiness really is. Jesus, the one who walked in perfect holiness, wasn’t any of these things. He wasn’t religious or pious, in fact, it was the religious people who had the biggest problem with Him. He wasn’t haughty or conceited, He reach out to those who were considered the lowest in society. While He had the most sensitive spirit when it came to His relationship with God, He was never touchy or easily offended by ‘sinful’ people or the lifestyle they were trapped in. As a believer you are commanded by God to be holy but you must learn the true definition of holiness. Holiness simply means that you are working out your salvation with the end goal of being like Jesus.
Tuesday, March 13
I Peter 1:14-15
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.
Christians, by and large look at a life of holiness as being a big list of ‘can’ts’ and ‘don’ts’. This, in and of itself, is the definition of religion. Religion is always based upon your works rather than the works of Jesus. Jesus died to free you from sin and the penalty that comes along with it. So why then, would you try to fight your way out of your old habits and issues under your own power. Holiness, like every other aspect of your Christian walk has to be rooted in your relationship with your Savior. The same grace that saved you and established you as a child of God in righteousness, is the same grace that will enable you to live a life of holiness. Today, stop telling yourself that because you’re a Christian that you can’t do this or that anymore because, “Christians just don’t do that sort of thing.” You must approach holiness from an empowered freedom perspective. You have been released from that old way of life and you get to live free from anything that might try to enslave you to a life that is anything short of victorious. You are free in Christ, not enslaved in Him. You are free to love, free to serve, free to give, and free to worship.
Wednesday, March 14
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
God has given you the key to walking out a life of holiness…it’s Him. Sadly, as clear as the Bible makes it that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as the Father and the Son are, Christians still tend to look at Him as less God than the other two. This is a sobering way to think about it…if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit, you would have no access to God. According to the Bible, the Father is in Heaven and Jesus is at His right hand, so if He wasn’t here on the Earth as the Holy Spirit, who would connect you with the Father? Even in the Old Testament, it was the Spirit of God who came on the Prophets, Priests, and Kings…the Father has never left His throne and Jesus only came to the Earth for a short time. The same is true now, if you have and encounter with God it will be through His Spirit, that’s just the way it is. The beautiful thing about this set up is that when you receive Christ it means that the same God that’s indwelling and empowering you is the same God who is sitting on the throne. You get no less God when it comes to a relationship with the Holy Spirit than you do the Father or the Son. He is the same God in all three aspects. The same God who empowered Jesus physical body to be Holy is who is empowering you! If you want a holy you, you must involve the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, March 15
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
As you walk out your salvation, experiencing freedom from the sins the that plagued you in the past, it’s important to walk in grace and humility toward others. As the things of your past become less and less of a hinderance in your Christian walk (and they should), you must make it a point to remain sensitive to those who may still be struggling. The last thing someone who is trying to experience victory needs, especially from another believer, is having a judgmental finger pointed at them. Looking down your religious nose at those who may not be as far along in their spiritual journey as you are is the very thing that God says He opposes in today’s text. You must keep yourself, not remembrance of your past sins, but in remembrance of the grace that you received from the Lord and others along your journey. Even if others looked down upon you and were critical of you, don’t allow yourself to be that person to someone else. If you want to continue to walk in His grace then you must learn to extend that same grace to others. No matter how far along in your walk you are, or how far you feel like you have to go, there will always be someone who needs your love and encouragement to give them strength to continue moving forward. Be a vessel of God’s grace love in the lives of your brothers and sisters in the faith.
Friday, March 16
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
As you purpose to move toward living a life that is more and more holy, it is important to not get too caught up in a black and white legalistic mindset of what holiness is. While holiness is synonymous with words like blameless, sacred, pure, and consecrated; those words define how God sees you, not your current state factually or how your feel at the moment. Here’s what you must understand. Jesus blood has washed you and made you clean…and that is how He sees you. Your part in the holiness process is to live up to the way that He sees you and the position of righteousness that He’s placed you in. It’s as simple as laying aside the things that are holding you back. When you received your salvation, Jesus sacrifice freed you from sin’s hold upon your life, you simply have to choose to lay it aside. Don’t think for one second that God is sitting there looking down upon you with a critical, condemning eye. He sees you through the Blood. His Blood has made you new, pure, righteous and clean, you don’t have to obtain these things for yourself. Live your life from a ‘staying clean’ view point as opposed to a ‘getting clean’ viewpoint and you’ll live with a freedom mindset rather than a hindered one.
Saturday, March 17
For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again.
When it comes to walking out the holiness process, it’s not a matter of if you fall, but how you fall. No one is immune to the issues and difficulties that life brings. No one will achieve perfection this side of Heaven. But by constantly moving forward with your eyes fixed on Jesus, when you fall you’ll fall forward into His grace. It’s only when you allow life’s trials and circumstances to cause you to turn back or stop trying to move forward that you fall back into your old habits and lifestyle. Holiness is not impossible, but depending upon how you fall it may feel that way. His grace is abundant and it is available to anyone who is walking out the holiness process. When you fall into His grace, He will quickly pick you back up and help you get moving forward again. Never forget that life is a marathon, not a sprint. A fall in a sprint usually means that you have no chance of catching back up with the pace. But in a marathon, the race is longer, slower and much more forgiving. The best part of it all is that you’re never running it alone. When you stumble and fall, your loving Father will be right there to pick you up, dust you off and get you moving again. He has nothing but reward and victory awaiting you at the finish line.
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