Ezekiel 5-7 Hebrews 12
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 NCV)
This verse may be an elaboration on part of the first two verses of this chapter that are so well known. One of the sins that hinders us is our ability to create and foment division. Social media makes it so much easier. When someone has a different opinion, our reaction seems to be that if we can’t “fix” them, we need to blast them into submission. Of course, since we know that they’re wrong, and we’re right, that’s justified because being right is the most important thing in the world – better than being president. The author of Hebrews might not agree because he tells us to work at living in peace with others and to be holy – since our holiness allows others to see the Lord.
Interestingly enough, a friend on social media asked the question: “What is holiness? Can you achieve it?” Some misunderstand holiness to be sinless perfection. That’s an impossible state. Holiness is the state of being set apart for God and His purposes. It’s not something we achieve by our behavior, it comes from God. However, because we are holy, because we’re set apart by God for Him and for His purposes, He molds and guides our lives. We make efforts to live in peace with all people, knowing that some people won’t have peace. Still our peaceableness and the rest of our lives should reflect what God has done in us. People should see a change, people should see a difference in our daily lives that happens because we’re set apart for God and we’re walking with Him. Too often, we as Christians live like a popular meme picture of a man walking with a girl. The man, instead of paying attention to his girlfriend or wife, is making eyes at another girl who’s walked by. We’re called to walk with God. If we’re paying attention to Him and growing in our faith, we won’t notice the temptations walking by. If we do notice them, we can resist them because we’re living in the holiness God’s given to us. That kind of life will make people recognize the presence of God and should draw them to Him. So, be holy and live in peace.
Lord, remind me that I don’t always need to be right. Remind me that I always need to show other people Your love and Your grace. Let me live in peace with others. Let me live a holy life because I’m walking with You and focusing on You.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.