Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:15
Welcome to today’s devotional. Saint Augustine said, ”Nothing whatever pertaining to godliness and real holiness can be accomplished without grace,” because Holiness is the very character and nature of God. So Holiness is by grace. Holiness is a call to a gracious life. It is a command; it is a clarion call. Blessed Mother Teresa says, “We must have a real living determination to reach holiness. I will be a saint means I will despoil myself of all that is not God; I will strip my heart of all created things; I will live in poverty and detachment; I will renounce my will, my inclinations, my whims and fancies, and make myself a willing slave to the will of God.”
God is holy. His Spirit is referred to as the Holy Spirit. God acts in holiness, His judgments are holy, His commandments and laws are holy. In God there is no darkness at all, neither is there a shadow of turning in Him. Man also was made in the beginning to be holy because he was made to carry the Most Holy God. Man is meant to be the extension of God’s holy life on earth. Prophet Habakkuk noted this: “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong…” (Hab. 1:13) God cannot stand sin. Anything tinted with sin is an abomination in His sight. Nothing unclean comes near Him.
This brings us to the other need for holy living. Sin separates us from God. It drives us away from the presence of God. Ungodliness brings reproach. When God is within, nothing can withstand a man but when iniquity is found, the curses of the wicked will prevail over him. Balaam tried from different angles to lay a curse on Israel but failed; because as he noted to Barak, “He (God) has not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither has He (God) seen perverseness in Israel. God is with him…surely there is no enchantment against Jacob…” (Numbers 23:21 – 23) The children of Israel were free from Balaam’s curse until sin was found in them.
Holiness builds a hedge around a person’s life, protecting them from the venom of the serpent. Sin breaks this hedge and exposes a person to every form of harassment. Sin, even as we saw in the Garden of Eden, leaves a man naked of the
protective glory of God. It also has a curse attached to it; “The soul that sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4) There is an eternal death that awaits the unrepentant sinner. He will never see God; not in this life, nor in the life to come.
Beloved of the Father, if you desire a good life and to see God in all your endeavors, you must determine in your heart to live a holy life. Our theme scripture warns us that if indeed we invoke God, who is the impartial Judge of our actions, as our Father, we must conduct ourselves with fear in this life’s journey. This means that we must be circumspect in our dealings. Don’t take any sin for granted, it is ungodliness and so exposes you to danger and also to God’s judgment. Be quick to confess and to forsake sin. Hiding or excusing sin is the shortest path to eternal death. As we go about our day, may the Lord help us to see the urgent necessity for holiness of life.
Eph 3: 2-12; Is 12: 2-3. 4bcde. 5-6; (R.3); Accl Mt 24:42a.44; Lk 12: 39-48
- ISAAC JOGUES AND JOHN DE BRÉBEUF, ST PAUL OF THE CROSS P , PP & COMPS/BL
- Thank the Lord for being alive today.
- Confess the sins you’ve taken for granted and say the “Act of Contrition” meditatively.
- Take seriously the “Prayer for Spiritual Renewal”. (Section A)
- Take seriously the “Prayer of Self Surrender to God”. (Section A)
- Plead the Blood of Jesus to make you free from your sins.
- Ask the Lord to build back your broken hedges.
- Ask the Lord for the consciousness that it is Jesus who now dwells in you.
Exercise: X-ray your life carefully and make a vow today to avoid sin and all occasions of sin relying on God’s grace.
Memory Verse: Romans12:1