A CLEAN AND HOLY LIFE.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.”
Hebrews 12:14-17 NKJV
If you’ve trusted Christ to forgive your sins and make you a new person inside, you’re a Christian. That means your sins are forgiven and you’re going to heaven.
But until you get to heaven, you still have a challenge. You’re still going to be tempted to sin. And every once in a while, you’re going to make a wrong choice. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to heaven, but it is still a problem. So what should you do? How should you feel about right and wrong choices as a Christian? See if the following True/False quiz helps you to answer those questions:
1. It’s OK to sin.
2. It’s OK to sin as long as you plan to ask God’s forgiveness later.
3. A Christian can make right choices or wrong choices; it doesn’t really matter in the great scheme of things.
4. It’s impossible for a Christian to live a clean and holy life.
5. Making right choices is not optional it’s crucial.
6. If you say you’re a Christian but go on sinning, you’re not living in the truth.
7. Being a Christian makes living a clean and holy life possible.
8. Those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
How did you do? The first four statements were all false; the final four were all true. Some of those are pretty tough questions, aren’t they? They’re even tougher when you compare the right answers to your own life.
That’s what today’s Bible reading is all about. The writer of Hebrews said, “Seek to live a clean and holy life” (Hebrews 12:14). In other words, making right choices is not optional; and if you say you’re a Christian but go on sinning, you’re not living in the truth (1 John 1:6). Hebrews 12:14 also says that “those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” That means if you’re a Christian, you will seek to live a clean and holy life by making right choices with God’s help.
In fact, being a Christian (and letting God’s Holy Spirit control your life) is the only way any of us can live a clean and holy life. It’s also the only way we’ll ever see the Lord.
REFLECT: Have you ever acted like statements 1-4 (in the True/False quiz above) were true? How can you seek to live a clean and holy life from now on? Can you do it on your own? If not, how can you do it? (Hint: reread the last paragraph above.)
PRAY: “Lord, sometimes I act as if it doesn’t really matter whether or not I make right choices, but I do want to make right choices. I want to live a clean and holy life. I want to see you someday. So please help me to trust you and let your Holy Spirit control my life so I can make right choices.”