Sunday, January 3, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Redeeming Holiness
Prijo Thomas.

St. Andrews MTC, NY.
15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.

 
"Move back!" "That's too close!" Have we ever said that to someone taking our picture? Most people don't want close up pictures of their face so as to avoid undue attention on pimples, wrinkles, blemishes, etc. Sometimes we say the same thing to God. The closer we get to Him, the more we see how much we don't look like Him, so we dread the thought of Him seeing all our imperfections. So we'd rather stay away, it's a lot easier. Instead of being "set apart", we'd rather just be apart.

Paul refers to this moving away from the light of Christ as a mark of the unwise, or foolishness. Darkness will only hide those parts of our character that will eventually come to light. Instead of waiting for the darkness to be exposed at a point when it may have already caused much pain to us and those around us, we can willingly and intentionally "make the best use of the time". That Greek phrase translates to "redeem the opportunity". This verse isn't just calling us to good time management, or to make the most of every moment, as we so frequently hear in our world today. Paul is saying that it's much more than that: we have divine opportunities and appointments brought to us by God not only to enjoy for ourselves, but primarily for the sake of glorifying His name. Therefore every moment when we turn away from sin and turn towards God is a redemptive moment that brings glory to the Father and draws us closer to Him.

According to verse 17, "understanding the will of God" is the opposite of foolishness. Not only understanding, but also obeying the will of God will lead us toward holiness. This is why Paul, as he's been doing throughout chapter 5, continues to help us understand the "revealed" will of God with contrasts of what we clearly should and should not do. Holiness comes from nearness and from being filled with His Spirit. The exhortation is to be filled with the only thing that can lead us to holiness and that is actually not a thing at all, but it's the person of Jesus Christ--"be filled with the Spirit." It's not referring to a one-time filling, though that is also necessary, but rather the phrase translates to constantly being filled with. Similar to breathing, it's a daily, repeated, constant release of that which doesn't belong and a filling with He who does belong. The more consistently we are filled with the only one who is truly holy, the more we are sanctified and become holy as He is holy.

PRAYER

Lord, we thank You for giving us Your Word through which we can know Your will. Help us to understand and obey Your will, that in doing so we may redeem every opportunity that comes our way. Teach us how to constantly be filled with Your spirit, so that we can become more like You, and in doing so help to bring Your kingdom here on earth.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
Every moment when we turn away from sin and turn towards God is a redemptive moment that brings glory to the Father and draws us closer to Him.