BIBLE READING: 2 Tim. 1: 8 - 11 8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don't be ashamed of me, either, even though I'm in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
What does this passage mean to you?
BLOG: Today (Oct 9th) is Yom Kippur. It is considered the holiest day of the year when Jews are closest to God. Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement." You can do some research online and discover what this day is all about.
But my question to you today is, "How close are you to God?"
We tend to think that "holy" people are pious people of near perfection. They never, or rarely, cuss, miss church, or fail to offer an encouraging word. That for some reason, when God looks down on them. He smiles and says, "Oh, there is one of my 'good' ones."
While the holiness that is used to describe God means that he is above everything and without sin. The holiness that Peter encourages us to practice means to live by God's standards, not that of culture. Perfection isn't the goal, we've already sinned so we can never be perfect. But we are set apart. 1 Peter 2:9 says that 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (Emphasis mine)
So how can you be holy? Let's ask Peter. 1 Peter 1: 13 - 16 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 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, 16 since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
Have a relationship with Jesus that matters. Casual faith has ruined many potential followers of Jesus. Have you ever been in a relationship that changed you? Love has a way of doing that to each of us. Let the love of Christ do that to you too.
Think differently. I remember the old Apple marketing campaign, "Think differently" that ran from 1997 to 2002. It was initially in response to IBM's slogan, "Think." The world will tell you - THINK. That human reason is the highest source of hope for your life. Jesus will say to you THINK DIFFERENTLY that He is the reason for hope in your life.
Be obedient - Jesus told us that if we loved Him, we would obey Him. But let's be honest, you need some help. That is why Jesus gave you the church, His Word, and send you the Holy Spirit. Use all three.
Don't be afraid. People may say "weird", Peter says we are "chosen, royal and holy." Remember this, what the world says about you has no bearing on how God loves you and His eternal plan for your life. God is holy and above all that stuff - AMEN!
PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to be holy. AMEN