Thursday: Pursuing Holiness

Read Psalm 15:1-2; Ephesians 4:22-24; and 2 Timothy 2:21. What do they tell us about holiness?

Holiness is the precondition for enjoying the happiness of fellowship with God. It is the precondition for our usefulness to God. We know the truth of the saying: “Sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character.” And, we might add, “Character is destiny.”

The only thing we will take with us to heaven will be our characters.

Christians Wanted Seven-Day Week

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Developing new habits and new characters, however, is not self-sanctification by self-effort. Habit forming is the ordinary way that the Spirit leads us in holiness. Habits are all important in our Christian walk, especially those habits that grow in connection with such biblical virtues as patience, love, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

When the Holy Spirit has filled our hearts, we will no doubt be active for God. But too often we forget that it is God who sanctifies us and who will finish the good work that He has begun in us (Phil. 1:6). Sometimes we are so busy doing all kinds of things for God that we forget to enjoy time with Him in prayer. When we are too busy to pray, we really are too busy to be Christians.

Perhaps our knowledge and success has made us so self-reliant and self-confident that we take for granted our skills and fine programs and, thus, forget that apart from Christ and without the Holy Spirit we can accomplish nothing.

Activism is not holiness. There will be people who think that they have done great works for the Lord, and yet they really were not following Him at all. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ ” (see Matt. 7:22-23, NKJV). There is a big difference between being called by God and being driven to do something for God. If we have not first taken the quiet time to hear the call of God, we stand in danger of being self-driven to do whatever we do. But there will be no strength, no power, no peace, and no lasting blessing associated with our work if it does not spring out of a divine calling. Our greatest need in our personal holiness is quality time with God when we hear His voice and to receive new strength from His Word as led by the Holy Spirit. This will give our work distinct credibility and convincing power.



Thursday: Pursuing Holiness — 21 Comments

  1. I thank God for this message today, for sure so many a times I am compelled to do work for God, not because He has called me to do it but because in my opinion its the right thing to do. This Lesson has taught me "Activism is not Holiness". In other words we should be concerned that in whatever we do, its the spirit of God leading us not our own motives,beliefs and convictions. I guess the only way we can do that is by asking for the Spirit's Guidance whenever we want to do something. God Bless Us All.

    • I have learnt too. May the spirit lead us in our doings,again we need to seek and ask Him to give us holy spirit everyday,for it is like fuel, benzine just like motors can't move or be driven without the fuel n so we are us Christians

  2. I truly enjoy doing things for others. I love to be useful. But sometimes I get mad at myself because I put my own duties aside! I need to find the balance on that. Thank God for His mercy! May His kindness abide in our hearts. May all of you have a bountiful day.

  3. The first line in paragraph one says, Holiness is the precondition---. I am not sure what that means. If it means we can become Holy by our efforts, this might be a partial reason. If that is so I would wonder who has accomplished the goal? Is there not a battle between right and wrong in most of our lives. Satan has many ways to deceive and accuse us in many of our activities. If you can say that the Holy Spirit has filled our hearts 24hours a day it most likely would be only through His power not by our determination.

    • It makes sense if you understand that Holiness is not a status but a commitment to a journey. It is not the summit of the mountain but a commitment to put one foot in front of another on our climb. The work of the Holy Spirit is not to transport us by magic to the top, but the encourager and energizer as we travel.

  4. I'm a little troubled by the statement that holiness is a "precondition" for fellowship with God. Implies that I cannot come to God unless I am already holy. Isn't holiness more like a journey, one in which I advance every day when I spend time in study and prayer?

    • I believe the Bible teaches that without holiness, no one will see God. This would be addressing that face to face in the hereafter, not now. Jesus already has made it clear that all who return to the Father will be welcome and offered the "best" robe, and full restoration into His household.

    • Holiness can only happen where God is resident. We cannot be Holy without God. We cannot make ourselves Holy. We CAN be Holy when we permit the presence of God in us to motivate us.

  5. Pursue a relationship with Jesus, spend time with Him, talking and learning who He is through His Words, ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to change your heart so that you become more like Him.

    Abraham tried to D.I.Y. and the result was Ismael
    The LORD performed a miracle and the result was Isaac

    We cannot make ourselves holy, the LORD performs a miracle and changes our heart/character, it is as good as being born again.

  6. One minute it seems as if l pursue after spiritual things, then the next l plunge back into the pit of flesh and l even wonder whose spirit was leading me in doing good work?. l need the Holy Spirit to take full charge of my mind daily not occasionally. If our lives are now in Christ how then do we fall short and follow lusts of the Flesh again, help here

    • Hi Mandlenkosi, when a child is learning to walk to begin with he falls a lot but his parents don't punish him, they encourage him to keep trying.

    • that is our journey in this sin-filled and sin-destroyed world:
      we do one good thing, then some bad things that we DON`T want to do.
      but God can give you strength to repent of sins and He can give you strength to overcome sin next time! have faith!

      • Karina, you have the same issues as Romans 7. As some have mentioned we are in the process of achieving an opportunity to be with God for ever. The lesson identifies this as Holiness. The title or label may be less important than the results of achievement. Why? Because of the help God has given us.

    • We fall, like the child, when we let go of the Hand that can "keep you from falling"(Jude 24). We understand the child's lack of ability at first, but if a 16 or 25 year old keeps falling, we realize something is not right.

      Jesus bids all "go and sin no more", but does not leave us alone to do this, but instead, invites us to take His yoke upon us. As one evangelist wrote: "Without Jesus we cannot hope to succeed, with Jesus, failure is impossible."

      Peter did not fall victim to the angry waves as long as is gaze and faith remained in his Savior. Yes, the sinner is enabled to "walk on water" if his hand(of faith) does not let go of his Redeemer.

      • Yes, Robert. If I have been a church member for 50 or 60 years and keep on doing the same sins and no one can see the character of God in me, there is something wrong. I need the continual watching and prayer that Jesus told us about that I might receive the motivation of the Holy Spirit in every issue of my life to change me into the true character of God with the fruit of a true child of God. This can be done much sooner if I walk in watching and prayer.

    • Mandlenkosi, My flesh wrestle not with flesh and blood, but against principalities,against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high place Eph 6:12-13 when I fall I get back up and continue to look toward the cross of Jesus Christ, I see a sinner on the cross just like me, and he cry out in faith, remember me when you come into your kingdom, it's Jesus who will finished our faith if we believe. Yes he can.

    • Am reminded of "a Man after Gods own heart". David sinned like everyone of us, but one good about David,he knew how to get back to his God. He cried out in psalm 51:1-14"create in me a clean heart ........ and renew the right spitit within me and renew the right spirit within me ........". We live in an evil world. Paul says in Romans 7:18-23; .........for what i do is not the good that i want to; no,the evil i do not want to do-this i keep on doing. It is about the new convenant where God puts his law in our hearts and writes on our minds-Heb 10:16/ Heb 8:8-13. I see the holy spirit at work in being made holy. He convicts us of our wrongs. Be blessed.

  7. Some times we get so busy for God, and the motivation is to escape from having to take time with him. Mostly to escape the sense of guilt, or shame, or feeling our unworthiness, like Adam when God comes near we seek to go hide from the brightness of his Holiness. We by nature, hate to feel bad about ourself, or our sense of insignificance. To drown our sense of shame, we get busy so that at the end, there's a bit of andorphines making us happy or content. True happiness is when we slow down and come in his presents just to spend time with him, even in our sense of smallness. In humility we begin to sense his happiness to find us there. Next we find his love and forgiveness, acceptance and power. By staying there to bask in his love we eventually go face our day with a skip in our step. What a difference when God gets your day.

  8. Holiness must replace sinfulness in our lives if we would dwell in the presence of a Holy God. Our old life of sin must be deliberately rejected by turning from it in genuine repentance, and receiving by faith the Gift of God through Christ as we take His yoke upon us, learning of Him. This learning must be deliberate and daily.

    It is the Holy Spirit that comes eagerly to transform the willing and waiting soul, and the resulting holiness will been seen in the life. These works of righteousness do not cause us to be holy, but are only the results of a holy life created by God's power through grace, and witness to the fact of God's exceeding great and precious promises have been kept by Him in the believing soul for His glory, and our great benefit and blessing.


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