Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Commitment to Holiness

I want to share with you the opening paragraph of Henry Blackaby’s book Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life. He writes:
“It is the people of God who can truly shape a nation. Many look to great leaders or powerful governments to shape a nation. But most likely, leaders and governments will not restore a nation once it is on the downward slide. While leaders and governments can influence a nation, there is no group of people who can determine the coming years of a nation like God’s people” (p. 1)

In this presidential election season it is easy for us to get distracted from the reality that the fate of our country lies not with our elected officials or the court system, but with the Church. We are where we at as a nation, not because a liberal agenda or a biased media, but because the Church, God’s people, have failed to live like the Church. Thus restoration of this great nation begins not in Washington, but within our church families. As our nation is once again influenced by people who are committed to Jesus, then, and only then, will the United States be the great country we know she can be.

Where do we start? Here is what the apostle Paul told the church in the city of Colossae:
5 So put to death your worldly impulses: sexual sin, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6 It is because of these things that the wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7 You used to behave like them when you were living among them. 8 But now you must also get rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene language from your mouth, and all such sins. 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old man with its practices 10 and have clothed yourselves with the new man, which is being renewed into full knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 11 Where this happens, there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free person. Instead, Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Put up with one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ also rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body, and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you with all richness and wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and singing to God with thankfulness in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:5-17; ISV)

Paul tells the Colossians, as well as us, that there are things we need to get rid of as well as things that we need put on. Why do we need to do this? Because we are different, we are holy, we are set apart. If we are to have any influence in this world then we need to be different from this world. We need to show as well as tell others about the truth which is found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To have Church families that are set apart and holy means that the members of that Church family must make a commitment to being those things. In other words it begins with us and the choices that we make. Are you committed to be holy, set apart from this world to be used by God, or are you willing to be part of the culture around you? This is where the battle for our nation, and thus the world, begins: our commitment to personal holiness.

  • Point to Ponder: If we are going to have influence in this world, we have to be different from this world.
  • Passage to Remember: Colossians 3:5-17
  • Prayer to Pray: Lord God in Heaven, give me the wisdom to know and follow Your truth. Give me the strength to stay true to my commitment to holiness and provide me with opportunities to influence the lives of other people with Your love and truth.

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