Devotional for Monday, March 30, 2020

But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.  For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’” (I Peter 1:15-16)

During last Home Group, we talked about these verses and learned that seeking holiness is not a prize we strive for to get a jewel for our crown, but is something God demands of us simply because we are His.  This is reflected in the words “But now….”  What follows those two words is nothing new – “for the Scriptures say….”  That is, God has always called His people to be holy, but we all as humans have failed miserably.  Even David, whom God called a “man after God’s own heart,” is no standard of holiness as Scripture makes plain.  “But now!”  But now signifies something has changed that actually allows us to pursue holiness in a way that is effective.  As was said in Home Group, we do not simply have updated hearts that can obey God, we have new hearts that can obey God.  For example, our capacity for loving others is at a whole new level – one that loves sincerely and deeply from a pure heart (I Peter 1:22-23).

But do you believe this?  Do you believe that God has given you the capacity to be holy, or at least to grow in holiness to measures unattainable through pious measures?  This is an identity issue.  I often must catch myself pursuing holiness in the wrong way - by pure human effort in order to please God.  This method and motivation are not the proper response to my guilt.  When I recognize that I am being irresponsible with my time, or my words to someone were coming from selfishness or pride, or that I'm denying the Spirit's promptings, I am recognizing that I am unholy.  But I am already holy (Rom. 8:1, I Cor. 1:30, Col. 1:22).  I am both holy and being made holy at the same time - this is the wonderful truth of the Christian life!  Because of our new hearts, we don't have to follow a bunch of rules to try to become holy; rather, holiness is more of a purposeful byproduct as the Holy Spirit works in us to love God because He first loved us and accepted us through our faith in His Son.  How can we pursue holiness in this mindset?  I think that Hebrews 1:3 provides us a hint: “The Son radiates God's own glory and expresses the very character of God.”  Jesus’ holiness is a simple reflection of God's character (the “exact imprint of His nature” according to the ESV).  But we can’t reflect God’s character if we don’t know Him.  Think of people who have been married for a long time - they need no words to communicate with each other in a group setting i.e. they know each other intimately.  Know God – your Father – intimately, and then reflect His character because you are His child.  What about you?  How has identifying as God’s child with a new heart been changing the way you strive for holiness?

Posted by Luke Ellison on 3/30/2020


For myself, the thoughts and emotions of the old self always hit me first in a given situation. And because they are first and feel so real, I often forget in the moment that my new nature in Christ is just as real and strong in its wants/desires. Identifying with the latter not only awakens me to who I really am in Christ, but who he really is. When he becomes more real, he becomes more worthy and his commandments lighter.

Andrew Kim on 3/31/2020 at 9:59 AM