Slightly Obsessed #052 "Whatever Happened to Holiness?" (Weekly Devo) by Pamela Thorson on 2013-11-20 11:35:09
Every day, the church is becoming more like the world it allegedly seeks to change. – George Barna
When Graham Cyster was smuggled into a Communist cell of young people fighting apartheid in South Africa, he was eager to share his faith with them. They were hoping for an alternative to the radical philosophies they embraced.
Cyster presented the gospel of Jesus Christ to his listeners. He told them that faith in Christ transforms people and inducts them into a body of believers in which there is neither Jew nor gentile, black nor white, male nor female, rich nor poor.
The young people listened raptly. One young man said, “That is wonderful! Show me where I can see that happening."
Cyster was caught off-guard. He admitted he could not think of one place in South Africa where that was truly being lived out by believers. "Then the whole thing is a piece of sh—," the young man spat in contempt. He later died in the fight against apartheid without ever knowing Christ.*
Most of us rarely get such a glimpse of the brutal realities of the spiritual war that wages around us. What we say and do is too often all about us. We forget that how we live influences others as they make decisions that will walk them into eternity.
Without the power of a changed life, Christianity becomes just another alternative lifestyle. True Christianity isn’t a philosophy, a set of rules, or a positive force to guide our lives. It’s radical, life-changing, demanding. It’s stepping out of slavery to the devil into servanthood to God.
The chains have been replaced with bonds. We serve Him, not to get saved, but because we have been saved.
Whether or not we acknowledge it, we are ambassadors of a higher kingdom. We wear Christ’s brand, and people are watching. They hope to see something supernatural. Something real. Something worth living for.
What are we giving them? How are we representing the kingdom of God to a world dying to know? If our actions turn them away from a living faith, is their blood on our hands? Do we care enough to live salvation out loud in our words and actions?
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” -1 Peter 1:14-16
A life of holiness isn’t about following the rules. It’s about being ruled by Christ. We may be the only face of the Savior others ever see.
*from The Scandal of the Evangelical ConscienceWhy don't Christians live what they preach?
By Ronald J. Sider
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #224: When the Pressure Feels Too Great
The fig I found in a local big box store had already been trimmed into a lovely miniature tree with an unusual trunk. Little did I understand what it takes to train a plant into a bonsai, and what that process would teach me about God.
Slightly Obsessed #223: Right Clothes, Wrong Spirit
Satan seeks to deceive us, divide us, and destroy us. His bag of tricks and sleight of hand are impressive but imaginary trapdoors to disillusionment. He constantly roams the earth in an insatiable search for humans to devour.
Slightly Obsessed #222: The Rain
Like the grass, the human heart has shallow roots and fades quickly in the dry season. But those shallow roots also are the first to taste the rain.
Slightly Obsessed #221: Are You Green and Sappy?
Being described as either green or sappy is not usually considered to be a compliment. But Irma lay claim to both, and it was her secret to a bountiful life.
Slightly Obsessed #220: We Only Have One Job
The Martha in us makes everything so hard, when the Lord is calling us to be Mary, running toward the sound of His voice; sitting in stillness at His feet; not wasting a moment of our time with Him in distracted busyness. Simply clinging to His every word.
Slightly Obsessed #219: When the Hedge Comes Down, Part 3
Job's soul had been stripped completely down to the dirt. His friends accused him; he defended himself vigorously. Lost in the cacophony was the voice of God. No one seemed to notice.
Except for one.