1 Thessalonians 4:1, 3, 4, 7, 8
1 “Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask you and urge you in the LORD Jesus, that as you received instruction from us about how you must live and please God (as you are in fact living) that you do so more and more. 3 For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, 4 that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Consequently, the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
1 Peter 1:16
“For it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
I am humbled by the truth that God calls each of us to be holy as He is holy. How can what is flawed, with nothing good inherently in our being, become holy? What is impossible with man, is possible with God! Moment by moment, day by day, we are being fashioned into His image – what a beautiful sight to behold! The version above uses the word “shall” – what a precious promise is contained in that little word. God is going to do the work of making us Holy and we shall be Holy. Sure, we might stumble around and fall short, but we eagerly look onward to this calling of Holiness, knowing the One who said it will complete it in us.
This command to be holy is not a suggestion, but it is also a calling. A calling differs from a command in that it is in us – urging us to live a life worthy of the One Who laid His life down for us. You cannot silence that calling, you can only muffle it a bit with a stubborn heart. But a calling is going to come to fruition when the LORD is the initiator and the completer of the covenant.
Some men hide behind their man-made religions, eager to judge their perception of wickedness and carry out what they define as Holy judgment. They might even be right in saying something is unholy, but their handling is wicked, as well. Average people can judge other’s lack of holiness but not see that holiness extends to all aspects of life. We might judge another for what seems an obvious lack of holiness in their life, and not see that our speech or our attitude is also unholy in the presence of our most Holy, perfect God. I am so grateful that the One true living God is not like that. He is the One Righteous Judge and He will judge all – but before that He extends mercy and grace and opens our eyes so that we might see.
Let us serve and help one another where we are myopic and blind. Let us encourage one another to heed the calling of holiness and even admonish and exhort, when needed. But may we also extend grace and instruction that causes our souls to yearn after God and His ways. May we press on and never grow weary of being like Jesus . . . for the sweetest promise of all awaits those who pursue holiness in God . . . seeing Him face to face!
Lord, thank You for heeding the call and living a perfect life as an example to us. Work in us for Your glory alone, LORD. Help us to seek after Your Kingdom and Your righteousness.