Be holy, because I am holy
Christmas is over.
I know what happens when Christmas is over because it happens to me. We have sung the songs and lit the candles. The gifts have all been unwrapped, the food has all been consumed and by now, most of us have all of the decorations down and put away until next year.
Many of us will spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day lamenting how much we ate, or spent, and we’ll be making #resolutions for change. Resolutions that, for the majority of us will be collecting dust by the end of January.
We might even have a tendency to put Christ away until next year, feeling good that we gave a nod to celebrating the one we say is our Savior. I doubt we even realize we are doing this. I’m sure no one purposefully says “Thank you Jesus for being born, see you next year.” But our lives tell a different story if we stay un-transformed.
God knows this about us, which is why I love that He gives us such a great Word in 1 Peter to latch on to as we approach the end of the year. 1 Peter is not your typical place to go for lessons of the Christmas season but when we do, we will receive a Word that will change our response to Christmas and change our lives.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 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 1:13-16)
In the language of the first century, “prepare … for action” meant to literally gather up the long, flowing garments a person would be wearing and be ready for physical activity. Isn’t it interesting that Peter would use such a phrase relating to our minds?
As we reflect on Christmas and move toward the New Year, we are to prepare our minds for action. For transformation.
Christmas is God’s invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Savior. That’s a heart response that transforms spiritual death into life. Our mind response is to be holy. Ignorance is an excuse in our past.
Living holy is living into the transforming power of Christ.
Most of us probably struggle to believe we are holy. I know I do. I know I fail at living holy with all too much regularity. Fortunately, our holiness is not based on how we feel or what we do. When we believe in Christ as our Savior we are made holy by God. Our holiness comes from the One we believe as Savior and submit to as Lord.
God is pointing us toward new life in the new year.
He calls us to resolve to live into the truth of being who we already are. Holy.
Our New Year’s Resolution: A living holy life.
God’s command to live holy changes our response to Christmas. It is the catalyst that keeps Christ in our lives every single day. It is no longer simply a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Nor do we put Christ away with our Christmas decorations.
Living holy becomes the lens through which we make all of our decisions, affects all of our actions, and guides all of our words. It is the ultimate resolution because we look to Jesus for the power to change.
Do you want to be healthier? Decide to live holy in the choices you make regarding food, drink, and exercise. Your body is a temple, a living sacrifice.
Do you have a relationship that is strained? Decide to live holy by forgiving, submitting and loving.
Do you desire to get out of debt? Determine how to live holy in relationship to money.
Are there habits you want to overcome? Commit your plans to the Lord by living holy as the Word transforms your mind.
How different might your world be if you take Peter’s words to heart?
Where do you need to keep Christ in your life? Prepare your mind today for action and decide this day to be who God already says you are.
#lifegivingwords #Resolutions #livingholy