Thursday, January 1, 2009

Strive For Personal Holiness in 2009

Happy New Year! For some, today is full of joy and others have heavy hearts. The New Year brings hope and it is my prayer that the following devotion will provide guidance for the New Year. May 2009 be your best year yet as we strive to follow the One who loves us best: Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

We should spend some time focusing on personal holiness. Hebrews 12:14 says: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord...." The word "follow" means to strive or pursue with vigor. Holiness is something that we are to be grasping and reaching for. Now some have taken holiness and reduced it down to a set of rules that involve how you dress and what electronics you have, i.e. television, movies or Internet. Holiness is so much more than man made rules; it is being separated to God in every aspect of our lives. We want to make sure that every part of our lives are set apart to Him. When we do that, we are pursuing holiness.

Jonathan Edwards was a great preacher and theologian in the 1700's in America. Many consider him to be the best theologian born on American soil. He developed 70 resolutions to keep him striving for holiness. I have divided them into 6 categories. The first section is whatever you do, do it for the Glory of God. 1 Corinthian 10:31 says: "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Edwards' resolution number 1 said: "Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
Edwards wanted every part of his life to bring glory to God.

How does your life bring glory to God? Does it bring glory to God? As we strive for personal holiness, let us commit to do all for His glory. Now we have a part to play in this striving; however, never forget that it is His grace that makes it possible. Today, thank Him for His grace and reach with all your might for holiness, i.e. a separated life that brings glory to the One who saved you!!

Make this New Year one that is set apart for the Glory of God. Establish yourself in the faith by reading His Word, studying His Word, having a consistent prayer life and striving for holiness.

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