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First person: Pursuing holiness

Let me ask you a question. What do you pursue every day in your life?

The Scripture tells us in Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I might ask, “What is the desire of your heart?

What does it mean to be holy? Separation from sin. I Pet. 1:14, the word “holy” (hagios) means to be righteous, pure, sinless and godly, to perfect and complete and filled in every possible sense, to be separated and entirely different from all other beings and things.

As Christians, we are set apart from God’s service and work. We must keep ourselves pure as possible in the flesh. We have been purified in the spirit and heart by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. If we are to be effective in the wickedness of this world, we must be different, by walking in His Spirit.

We live in a world that is increasingly ungodly and wicked. Our world is in despair today because of great sin and indifference to a Holy God. Of course, this began in the Garden of Eden with the disobedience of Eve and Adam. Since then, things have gotten much worse. America, as a whole, is living as if there is no God. This did not just happen recently. It began several years ago as the courts began to make decisions concerning human rights that were against God’s law. Abortion was legalized in the early 1970s, a little later the Supreme Court made other decisions that affected our way of life.

Do you remember when the Federal Communications Commission would not allow four letter words on the radio or television, and that was because it incited human decency? We began to hear such cursing as using God’s name in vain, among other words that cannot be written here because of my respect for our God and other people. Television is filled with such things as cursing, nudity, same-sex marriages and adultery portrayed in many shows and movies that we cannot watch television without seeing these things on, even the commercials.

I have observed the news reports these days, and I am sure you have also noticed things like rape, murder, human trafficking, homosexuality, children turning against their parents in far greater numbers than I would have ever thought. Satan is using everything he can to draw our attention from the more wholesome things to see and hear. It is getting increasingly more difficult to find people who are truly honest and faithful to friends and family.

Many people who are in leadership positions, even in the church, and Bible study groups are accused of sexual crimes against women and children. It is enough to make a man want to throw up. We cannot believe many of our national leaders from the very top down. They deceive people by lies and half-truths.

Well, how do we deal with this as Christians? How can we manage our lives and keep ourselves pure morally and spiritually? Of course, I know it is impossible without God’s power in our lives.

The Apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.” Or live in the spirit of prayer every day. We must read God’s Word regularly and listen to what God is trying to teach or tell us. The Scripture tells us that God’s Word is purifying. Since this is true, why do we do so little reading of His Word if our hearts are stayed upon Him? Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Do we believe that we trust God completely? Do we really believe that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ lives within us? Do we live our lives in such a way that we are certain we bring glory to God? That is possible with His power available to us every moment.

The Psalmist wrote in Ps. 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Read James 4:6-10. We must see to it that we purify ourselves morally and spiritually. Eph. 1:4 says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

Almighty God, help us to be all that YOU want us to be!

Jerry L. Ervin is a retired pastor and a member of the BGCO Ethics & Religious Liberty Committe

Author: Guest Writer

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