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Holiness Before Happiness
As a child I remember playing sports with the neighborhood kids. Two captains would be designated who would then alternate choosing their teams. It was vitally important to be one of the first ones picked. The youngest or most unathletic children were the last ones to be selected. If you didn’t go in the early rounds that meant you were perceived to be of less value or worse: perhaps not even wanted at all!
I think about this as I contemplate the proclamation of holiness God has given over us. When God says we are holy that means he has selected us! And, we are all first round picks. There are no second class citizens in the kingdom of God. We are holy, not because of our abilities or talent; rather, we are holy because God has said we are. He is the one who has set up apart as unique and special. The blood of Jesus has consecrated us so that we are in fact God’s treasured possession.
Now we are called to live into that identity. “Be holy because I am holy,” God tells us. Living holy lives is how we reflect God to the world. Many years ago I confessed sin to a mentor of mine. His response was that I should read 2 Timothy 2:20-22. He said it would be easy to remember because of all the 2’s. He was right. I’ve never forgotten.
“In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
By living holy lives we increase our usefulness to the Master. Make it your goal to be holy and when you look back on your life in the days to come you may be surprised at the wonderful ways God has used you to make a difference in this world.