Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;
4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God;
6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified.
7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.
8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;
10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;
11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,
12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God. (1 Thessalonians 4:1).
Living a life of holiness is not living a life of rule-followers, like the Pharisees, but rather living a life fully devoted to loving God with all your heart, mind and strength, and in doing so, love others as you love yourself. Therefore, what God is most concerned about in our lives is what kind of people we are becoming: Are we growing in our love for Him and others? Are we increasingly becoming less and less inclined to the same sins, and more and more attracted to the things of God? Are we giving the Holy Spirit more and more influence in our lives? Is Christ, and the presence of God, becoming more of a delight to us? Are we becoming less selfish and more selfless? Are we concerned about not just ourselves, but others? Are we focused on Christ and the concerns of Christ, and not just wrapped up in our own affairs?
The life of holiness is the life of faith in which the believer, with a deepening knowledge of his own sin and helplessness apart from Christ, increasingly casts himself upon the Lord, and seeks the power of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom, and comfort of the Bible to battle against the world, the flesh and the devil. It is not a lonely struggle, for Christ gives the Spirit to the members of His body to help one another.
When we become Christians, God’s presence indwells us and we are united to Christ by faith for growing in holiness. Growth in holiness (i.e learning to love God and love others) is the process that prepares us for our eternal destiny – everlasting life in God’s presence! You will not be found wanting in Jesus’ name.
1. Lord, make me holy as You are holy.
2. Oh Lord, let my focus and concern for doing everything in all places be for You, and You alone.
3. Father Lord, purge Your Church of every contamination of sin and worldliness.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Numbers 18:31 – 21:11; Mark 10:31 – 10:52