Practical Holiness (Nov 15)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

November 15

Practical Holiness 

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 122:1-9 | Ezekiel 31:1 – 32:32 | Hebrews 12:14-29 | Proverbs 27:18-20

Today’s Scripture Focus: Hebrews 12:14-29

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV).

As Christians, we are called to a life of holiness. But what does that mean? To some it might bring images of life in a monastery rejecting all worldly things to spend the rest of my life in prayer and solitude. To others, it means a rigid life of keeping rules and trying hard. Many of our images of holiness suggest a joyless existence–rigid and austere. But that is not the picture of holiness that the Bible gives.

Holiness is becoming more and more like Jesus: More loving, more joyful, more of a peacemaker, more kind and gentle with others, more patient. Far from a joyless existence, holiness is “life lived to the full,” a life of wholeness and balance. It means becoming a person that lives with a clear sense of purpose. Living a holy life should be a passionate, full adventurous life lived to the glory of God.

The greatest test of our progress in holiness is this: how do I get along with other people? Do you see the connection in our text? “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy.” In practical terms, our growth in holiness is tested and proved through relationships with others.

So how are you doing? Take the time to open your heart to Jesus everyday through prayer and meditating on His word. Spending time with Christ has a way of bringing transformation from the inside out that begins to be seen more and more in your daily life and especially in dealing with people. As you take the time to read and pray, His character and priorities begin to rub off a little more each day.

Heavenly Father, help me to walk in holiness and live in peace with others. May the character of Jesus be reflected in all I do and say today. So Lord, fill me with your Spirit and produce the fruit of your Spirit in my life. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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