December 18, 2014
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
What happens to a person when their life finally lands on a singular priority? What does it look like when a person ceases to have so many competing and conflicting priorities and life comes down to one thing? It’s not that they cease everything else in their lives in order to be more involved in church. No! What happens is their formerly conflicting and competing priorities all become infused with that singular priority. When this happens, no matter how busy a person may be, no matter how many involvements and commitments and activities they may be engage in, everything infused with a singular sense of priority and focus. Life becomes aligned and no matter how complex things may look on the outside, on the inside it feels like simplicity.
In fact, the more focused one’s priority becomes, the more diverse and interesting their life becomes. Unfortunately, we have lived through a long season of history where the church didn’t know how to respond when this kind of priority seized a person’s life. The default response of the church to a person whose life had become infused by the Holy Spirit was to steer them toward becoming a clergy person (i.e. a preacher). It would be akin to channeling every athlete who shows above average commitment and skill on the field into coaching. The church needs far fewer coaches and tons more players.
Staying with the player metaphor, today’s text shows us the possibility of what a real player can look like in this game. It describes what being “in the zone” is like. It looks like God working in your life at such a deep and profound and yet ordinary level that you become charged with the supernatural substance of the Holy Spirit. In other words, you become holy. Now, the problem with the word holy is it has unfortunately become a synonym for “religious.” We must bust these myths! Becoming holy actually means leaving “religious” behind. It means becoming the kind of person whose presence is touched with the presence of God, whose heart beats goodness, whose eyes radiate kindness, whose mind exudes creativity, whose hands create things that will last, whose words are charged with encouragement, whose love becomes brilliant. In short, holiness means a compellingly beautiful life. Imagine the possibilities of this.
Who doesn’t want that? This is what being “sanctified” (which is the bible word for made holy) through and through means. It happens to those whose priority is seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. This is where real repentance (realignment) always leads.
I will close the way today’s text closes: “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”
Ok, one more. The Lord lifts up. . . . . . . (your turn).
PEOPLE GET READY! JESUS IS COMING.
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