+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening: (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reading from the Book of 1 Peter 1:13-25 (NLT)
A Call to Holy Living
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written:
“Be holy, because I am holy.”
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
Be holy in all you do.
“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
So you must live as God’s obedient children.
Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.
You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
– 1 Peter 1:13-16 –
In the first half of this chapter, Peter reminded us of who we are as believers: we have been chosen by God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and made holy by the Spirit at work within us. In the second half of this chapter, Peter instructs us on holy living as God’s obedient children.
In essence, Peter is saying:
Pull yourself together and follow God’s Word and Spirit
in how you think, what you say, and what you do – after the example of Jesus.
It’s interesting to note that Peter wrote this letter in the mid 60s AD while imprisoned in Rome prior to his martyrdom. I mention this because the sober tone of this letter is quite different from the impulsive tone of Peter as depicted in the Gospels. Peter has changed – he has been transformed by the renewal of his mind. The Holy Spirit has brought to his memory all that Jesus taught him, and his life experiences of preaching, teaching, healing, and leading have proven the truth and power of God’s Word.
Questions for consideration:
- How has your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus changed over the years? Do you feel closer to God, or more distant? Please explain.
- Holiness has to do with being set apart to be used by God (consecrated). Do you view yourself a being set apart (a stranger) within the prevailing culture to be used by God? Please explain.
- As a believer living a holy life in your culture, to what thoughts, words, or behavior do say, “No?” To what thoughts, words, or behavior do you say, “Yes?” Please explain.
- The purpose of Bible study is to get to know God, and in the process to become more like him – to become more like Jesus, to grow in holiness. How is that working out for you? Are you involved in a Bible study? Are you becoming more Christ-like? Please explain.
Prayer for Holiness:
Holy God: By your grace you have chosen us and adopted us into your family through faith in your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Transform us by the power of your Word and Spirit to become more like him – to become holy as you are holy.
- Breathe in me Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
- Act in me Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
- Draw my heart Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
- Strengthen me Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
- Guard me so Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
I ask this in Jesus’ name, that I might draw closer to you. Amen.
“Be Holy, For I Am Holy” – A Cappella
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen