Words of Faith 1-14-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Peter 1
 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;  for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
When I was in the sixth grade, there was a group of boys in my elementary class who really stretched the patience of the teacher. If there was trouble to get into, they would find it. Any time the teacher left the room, the paper wads would fly until she returned. There was no teacher's aide, so there were times she had no choice but to leave the class with the final warning‑‑ Be good!
Okay, I confess. I was sort of the ring leader in that group of boys and had some share in the paper wad wars. But honestly, I was never quite sure what the teacher meant when she said: Be good. Good is a relative thing.
We may wonder in the same way just what Peter means when he tells us as Christians to be holy. Does it mean we should not throw paper wads? Or does it mean we avoid destructive habits? Holiness is tough. The definitions are entirely relative. And just the instruction to be holy can cause a part of us to rebel. So let's back up.
To be holy really means to be set apart for the use of God. That basically is it. It is often the culture that decides to define in confusing ways what is "holy" or suitable for the use of God. In one time and place, the culture may say that playing cards or wearing shorts render a person "unholy." One tradition says that to be married makes one unsuitable to be a minister. Other traditions require a spotless moral history. Still, others have tossed out all restraint.
Peter makes it simple. Be prepared for action. Be self-controlled. The KJV renders this "sober." We are not to be under the influence of anything but God. We are to influence our culture rather than be under its influence. We are to set our hope fully on the grace of God revealed in Jesus.
What Peter was getting at is actually the opposite of many holiness theories which place a great deal of hope on self achieved righteousness. The point here is that our whole hope is in Him, and we are not conformed to the past ways of the world. We are not to give up because of grace and go backward, as some do.
But even more important is our motivation. Why? Why be holy? Are we to be holy because the teacher may come back to the class without notice, and we may be caught? No. God says: Be holy because I am holy. Be set apart for me because I am set apart for you. Give yourself wholly to me because I have given myself entirely for you.
Where are you today? Struggling a bit to figure out what a holy life is supposed to look like? Be set apart today. Be a vessel available for His use. Not because He might come back today (though He really might), but simply because He is set apart for you.
Lord Jesus, use me this day. Set me apart. Make me suitable. Flow through me. In Your Name, I pray.
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