Holiness Is a Reasonable Request

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.” 1 Peter 1:15–16 (NIV)

"The thing to remember today, and forever, is that God initiates the cleansing."

Peter says we’re to be holy, just as our heavenly Father is holy.

Isn’t that impossible, particularly when we know no matter how hard we work to be holy, we’ll still fall short of the glory of God?

Isaiah’s vision of heaven helps me understand how this works:

An angel-seraph sings out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3 NIV)

Isaiah’s response is, “Woe to me! . . . I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5 NIV)

Keep in mind, this is Isaiah, the MVP of prophets, saying, “Woe to me!” Yet, as he moves into God’s holy light, Isaiah sees quite clearly that his righteous acts are nothing more than filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) He says, in effect, “All that I’ve done hasn’t come anywhere near covering my guilt and sin. Lord, I cannot match your holiness.”

Just then, one of the angel-seraphs flies to Isaiah with a glowing hot coal from heaven’s altar. He touches it to Isaiah’s lips and says, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” (Isaiah 6:7 NIV)

The thing to remember today, and forever, is that God initiates the cleansing. God himself will complete the cleansing as you submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8a NIV)

To learn more about God’s Grace –

  • Read Costly Grace by Jon Walker. Rick Warren says Costly Grace “may be one of the most important books published during this time of economic uncertainty and world turmoil.”
  • Study the Foundations of our faith. Foundations is a comprehensive tool for teaching the essential truths of Christian faith in a simple, systematic, and life-changing way. The 24 sessions, taught by Kay Warren and Tom Holladay, will take you on a thought provoking, life-changing exploration of 11 core doctrines: The Bible, God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Creation, Salvation, Sanctification, Good and Evil, The Afterlife, The Church, and The Second Coming.

This devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Daily Hope Devotionals and author of Costly Grace.

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