Grow • Devotional #4: “Strive for Holiness”

“That each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” 1 Thessalonians 4:4

Holiness is one of those words that sometimes seems daunting. Maybe it is just me but whenever I read the Bible and come across that word or anything to do with being holy, I just never feel good enough. I look at my own life and think, how can God love me? With all the mistakes I have made, with how far I feel like I am from holiness, how can God even care for me? Even after reading what holy means in the dictionary (“Morally and spiritually excellent”), I feel further away than I ever have. 

The good thing about having a relationship with Jesus is that He will always love you and long for you to join Him in Heaven. Even in seasons when we feel like we are far from God and when sometimes we are running away, He is always looking for a way to bring you and me back to Him. I just recently became a father, and until now I thought I knew what that feeling was like. However, when I look at my daughter, I think there is nothing you could ever do to make me not love her and make me not want to be with her. That is the love that Jesus has for us! 

So knowing that, why would we not strive to do everything we can to be as close to God as we can? To be in His love, grace, and presence is something we should want, right? Holiness is something we should strive for. I say strive because holiness is something we will never achieve, but it is something that we are constantly chasing. When we chase holiness we become someone different. In life, it is impossible to be neutral. Everyone has something that controls them, either God or sin. Being a Christian myself does not mean I cannot sin, it just means I am no longer a slave to sin. I strive for holiness because I love and belong to God – and so can you. When we have hope that we will have eternal life with Jesus in Heaven it gives us a new joy and purpose. That is something that should make us thankful every day! 

Romans 6:22 (NIV) adds, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

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