Friday, April 29, 2016

Living Wholeheartedly

1 Peter 1:8-16 (ESV)Read it yourself

Holy. What is that? What does that word even mean?

No fellowship with darkness.

Take no part in sin, do not associate with it, do not identify with it. This is not the same thing as identifying with and having fellowship with sinners. If that were the intention we’d all live a Pharisaical life in isolation from others. No, engagement with the world is critical to your spiritual health and to what God desires for you. How else can you be salt and light without being in a place where salt and light are needed. Salt and light are helpful, they serve and meet a need.  Sinners flocked to Jesus and enjoyed being with him. If sinners do not enjoy being around you, then you are not reflecting the nature of Christ.

Paul distanced himself and makes a distinction between himself and his sin. Romans 7:17 is not I but the sin living in me… This suggests to me that even though you still fail, still ‘miss the mark’, still sin, it is not a reflection of your evil heart, but rather a reflection of the sin still clinging to the dark corners of the closets in your mind. It is these closets and dark areas that Jesus wants to expose and bring to light, to free you from the darkness, superstitions, and pagan idolatry that you were born with (your former ignorance).

Holiness, without which no man will see God - Hebrews 12:14. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” - Matthew 5:8

Obedient children

Obedience is an opportunity to express love to God. Love is more than words, it’s action. How can you love someone you cannot see, hear, or touch? Though doing what He wants.

Expressing love has a certain characteristic: e.g. When you give, give cheerfully and generously. There is no begrudging or whining in your generosity without it no longer being generous. The difference between generosity and miserliness is the state of your heart. Love is not love if it is done out of duty and obligation.

Love for God can only happen when your heart is changed. Doing things because you are ‘supposed to’ is a lifeless adherence to ritual that is done from obligation and fear. God blesses those that he calls with a heart that longs for fellowship with Himself. Expressing love from your heart is so much more fun and interesting than living from the old nature you were born with.

God’s word, the law, exists to show you his character, his righteousness, his goodness. He does not co-mingle with evil. There is nothing evil or malicious in his character. He wants the same thing for his children. As his child, you will naturally take on his same character. When you are born-again and made new your heart desires to obey God.

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