Why So Holy?

Day 289

Prayer for the day

Accept, O LORD, the willing tribute of my lips, and teach me your judgments.

Scripture for the day

Isaiah 47-49, 1 Thessalonians 4

There are innumerable passages in the scriptures that call for people to be holy. We are regularly called to live a life that is pleasing to God, a life that is set apart, holy. One of the questions that lingers, however, is “why?” Why should we live in this way? Is it simply because God said it, so I believe it, and that settles it, as the bumper sticker has it? Or is there something deeper going on?

Many would argue that holiness is simply the way we were meant to live, and so we ought to get “back to our roots.” However, the scriptures have more to say on the matter than simply getting back to our roots.

The book of Isaiah is one major contributor to the call to holy living. In Isaiah, the prophet speaks the words of God to the people of God, desiring that they would turn from their wickedness and embrace God’s way for their lives.

The important point here is that there is a purpose for this embrace. God desires that they live this way in order that His fame would spread. This is not the narcissist God coming out. Rather, this is a God who knows what is best, and when people are seen living that best, it is attractive, and so more and more will be drawn to the best.

Paul picks up this thread in the book of 1 Thessalonians, writing that the Christians in Thessalonica ought to be set apart by their refusal to live lives of sexual promiscuity and immorality. Instead, says Paul, they should live lives that honour the God who gave them life. In this way they will hold up the God who saves, and his name will be famous!

May we contribute to the fame and glory of our God together.

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