1 Thessalonians 4; Isaiah 20-22; Psalm 115
We are often lackadaisical about sin. We know that God forgives us, so we let ourselves slide into sin. Nothing big, of course, but still we slide. Of course, once we start that slide, it’s easier to keep going downhill and our sins become s great it’s more difficult to turn back to God. That’s why Paul reminded us: “For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.” (1 Thessalonians 4:7) While Paul is dealing with sexual purity in this part of 1 Thessalonians, the truth applies to all sin. He reminds us of the teaching of Jesus who taught us that considering a sin was the beginning of our problems and thus was as bad as the sin itself. God called us in holiness. Holy means to be separate – to be set apart for God. If God called us in holiness, then that means that our lives should be separate. Too often we want to fit in with the world. We go along with the crowd whatever the situation may be. We baptize our actions because “our friends need a Christian witness.” And so, we go along with the crowd sharing a witness that there doesn’t need to be any change; there doesn’t need to be any difference. A Christian witness is remarkable for it’s holiness. Holiness is not an “I’m better than you,” attitude. It’s remarkable in that we can be with other people without engaging in their sin. When Jesus went to parties, He was the life of the party. He didn’t go along to get along. It’s a fine line, to be sure. There are times when we will have to separate ourselves from friends because their activities would be too much of a temptation. We are to remember, though, that God called us in the midst of our uncleanness so that we might become holy. The power of a changed life, especially when that life shows God to be the change maker, is the most powerful message of all. So live each moment as if you are separated from God and show the world what God has done in your life.
Lord, how easy it is to fall into old patterns of life. That which directed my life before I met You still calls and allures me away from You. Remind me daily that You have called me to holiness. Never let me take Your forgiveness for granted; always help me focus on living for You.