Last week, I started sharing a list of questions that someone once asked me. I have turned these questions into a quiz to help evaluate your Christian ministry. I have already asked questions relating to love, sin, attitude, relationship, and truth. There are three more questions that I plan on sharing this week. The question I want to address today has to do with holiness. Here's the question:
Do I Pursue Holiness?
The Christian is called to pursue holiness. It really is that simple. The Christian is called to leave the things of the earth and run to the things of God.
"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. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy'" (1 Peter 1:13-16).
To be holy means to be separated. It means to be set apart. In this context, it means that we are set apart for the things of God instead of the things of the world. It is leaving our sinful flesh to set our mind on the things of God. But I do not want to pretend that this is easy. Even this morning, I have had several holiness opportunities. These are times when I was forced to either run to Jesus and respond well or pursue my own flesh.
What about you? Does your pursuit of holiness affect the way you live your life? Do you think about it when you wake up in the morning? Do you think about it as you are at school or work? Are you willing to evaluate your activities, all of your goals and plans in light of the statement, "I am doing this to please God."
One of my favorite books of all time is Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness. It is a book that has impacted the way I view my desires to pursue holiness. He says,
"When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives at our salvation, He comes to make us holy in practice. If there is not, then, at least a yearning in our hearts to live a holy life pleasing to God, we need to seriously question whether our faith in Christ is genuine. It is true that this desire for holiness may by only a spark at the beginning. But that spark should grow till it becomes a flame -- a desire to live a life wholly pleasing to God. True salvation brings with it a desire to be made holy. When God saves us through Christ, He not only saves us from the penalty of sin, but also from its dominion" (33-34).
Are you pursuing holiness? Does it consume your thinking? My prayer is that for my life is that each day, I grow in some aspect of my holiness. I pray you do as well.