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Friday, December 18, 2015

LIVE VIRTUOUS LIVES

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 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 
     Christians live by a different standard than the world. It’s a standard that spells out morality and honest, ethical behavior. It’s easy to see that the world lives by its own individual standards. In some cases a different one for each person.  This is not what God intended.  Living for yourself is an empty existence.  Following the standards of the Lord is not only freeing, but also rewarding.  God knows what is good for us. We only think we know.   
     The world is ever changing; God never changes.  His existence is eternal. The world places their collective hope in temporal things that will not last forever. It is thought that God is an Almighty killjoy that wishes to make us all into spiritual robots.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We can literally do anything we want to do, anything at all.  It’s only fair to follow up that statement with the following:  Not all things are beneficial or helpful.  In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthian church, he says,
"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23) 
     It is not the will of God that we live as we choose. A virtuous life is pleasing to God, a life that glorifies Him and not you. Being holy is living a moral or virtuous life in all you think, say and do. Just as sanctification is both instantaneous and progressive, so is being holy and moral. When you receive Christ, not only are your sins forgiven, but you are also seen as sanctified and holy in God’s sight at that very moment. Your actual sanctification is acquired progressively as you live your life for Him. We must not make His grace a cheap thing by accepting the reality of this and yet live as we choose. We are in covenant with our God. Our desires should being changing; from pleasing ourselves to pleasing our God. While we will never achieve perfection this side of heaven, this is not a license to live as we choose. We are to seek perfection and in so doing seek to live a life that is more like Christ each day.

* HOLY à MORAL à VIRTUOUS  (def)  - concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles. (The American Heritage Dictionary)

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