“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”
I have been thinking of a theme for 2010 and had yet to settle on one. As I thought on this last night and this morning during my devotional time with the Lord, it came to me:
Holiness! Holiness will be my theme for 2010.
It is my prayer that during 2010 that by God’s grace and His effective working in my life that I would be made more holy in my practical daily living. I know that God looks at me through His unique and one-of-a-kind Son and sees me as He sees Him. In other words I am already convinced of my positional holiness in Christ. I simply know that my daily living can be further tuned for the glory of God and the good of His people.
2009 was a year of grace for me. I love grace. I thank God for grace. However, even I know that grace no matter how undeserved and no matter how freely given does not alleviate me from my responsibility to grow in holiness. “Be Holy for I am holy” is a command and not a suggestion.
The amazing thing is that as I respond to Christ’s command to be holy as He is holy, I am still swimming in the pool that is filled with grace. I have the unfathomable privilege of delighting in God. Psalms 37 even commands me to delight in God. I want to delight in the things that God delights in – and one of those things God delights in His holiness.
I am already convinced this will be an impossible journey through this new year if I depend upon my own resources to “be holy.” I am equally convinced that I need the endless supply of God’s grace to enable me to consistently be motivated to serve Him.
What is my plan? Well I have begun to assemble my “tools,” to re-read and meditate through again this year. For starters I am going to re-read:
Bryan Chappell’s Holiness by Grace
Jerry Bridges’ The Pursuit of Holiness
R. C. Sroul’s The Holiness of God
J. C. Ryle’s Holiness
I am also planning on conducting a bible-wide study during my devotions on the subject of holiness. If you have further suggestions of some good books on this subject please let me know what they are.
I don’t know what to expect as I prepare for this journey this year. I know that there is not a vaccine, formula, kit, liquid, gas, or any components that will automatically make me holy. Remember, I have read Bridge’s book before and I already know three areas that I will have to revisit and allow the Lord to take to my hear - the sharp edged sword of his Word deftly maneuvered by the hand of His Holy Spirit:
1. My attitude toward sin can be more self-centered than God-centered
2. At times I can misunderstand what it really means to “live by faith”
3. I fail at times to take some sin as seriously as I need to
So my prayer for 2010 will be:
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus..” (Romans 6:11 ESV)