Questions of the morning: What sort of person should I be? Where should my focus be? What things of this world distract me from preparing for my eternal life?
2 Peter 3:10-12(ESV)
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
I listened to a short study on these verses, and, as so often happens, I recognized a new impact on me, on my life, and new directions that I had allowed to dissolve. Basically, after listening to the sermon, I was convicted.
I was saved by Grace, became a part of a holiness church, and was baptized there. I moved and joined another holiness church. A different denomination but similar in the foundational truths of salvation and holiness. There I continued to grow and was called into ministry.
Suddenly, on hearing the words read from 2 Peter and the message in those verses, I saw where I had recently let so many things distract me. The thing that touched me most was that for the last few weeks, I knew I had drifted away from some of my regular routines in the study and the focus on my role in the life the Lord had put me. The last two days, I asked the Lord to show me where I’d gone off track and what I needed to do. I sincerely missed the time I spent learning, growing, and preparing for my new role in my new home and neighborhood.
I recognized that although I don’t usually spend much time watching television, I spent hours catching up on shows I hadn’t seen in years. Some of that began because of an injury that led to having my foot elevated for two days, but so quickly that it can turn into something that robs you of precious time with the Lord.
I got up this morning asking God to help me get back on track and see what had happened. My own actions, influences from others who did not believe as I did, some that do not believe at all, or, was I making excuses because it is easier to remain indifferent and not take on the battles required in this day and age of chaos to stay on track?
When I got up, I read my Bible plan as always. Prayed. Things that are so ingrained that to let that go is like cutting off a part of my body. But there was almost a sense of unease that I would fall again into something not pleasing to the Lord. Each of us is different, so the details of what is expected of me may not necessarily be expected of others.
I made a cup of coffee, popped some toast, and turned on the television, determined I would return to hearing or watching, a man of God preach the Word of God. And then I thought for a while, listened to the local weather, and walked back to my “den” (extra bedroom) to write my blog. Only first, I did some basic research on holiness. What follows is something I copied to meditate on, examine my own life, and let the Holy Spirit direct my path instead of me taking deters so often. I chose it because it was written long ago.
1. Abandonment to all the will of God. In such a state, one can praise God in afflictions, in necessities, in temptations, in slanders, as well as in prosperity, and can turn every providence, no matter how bitter and mysterious, to spiritual benefit.
2. Holiness is purity of motive or, as the Bible says, “a single eye.” The holy heart is saved from all mixture in its motives of the vile with the precious things of the Spirit, and it has constantly a pure desire for God’s glory. If its possessor makes a mistake, as he sometimes will, he can examine the most secret workings of his soul, and after the most critical search, can conscientiously say, “I made a mistake, but my motives were pure.”
3. “Purity is power.” This is manifested in four directions:
- In the ability to control one’s own life with a single eye and a victorious heart.
- In the strength to secure a comparatively easy victory over evil, for Satan has nothing in the clean, devoted soul.
- Power with men. For its possessor is wielding an influence that is deeper than mere human supremacy and which lays hold of the heart of the onlooker. One can have so much of the Holy Spirit that he will actually compel people to respect the power and presence of God in him.
- Power with God. Here is the real reason for all the power of purity, for its possessors tarry so much in the secret place that they prevail with God. And coming from this sacred presence, how can they help but be a power with others? Such persons shed a sacred influence wherever they go.
4. The holy heart is filled with the fruits of the Spirit. It is now free from the residue of sin that still remains in the heart of the Christian who is not yet entirely sanctified. The development of these graces does not consist in a change or bettering of their nature, but in such a deepening and enrichment of them that they come more and more to control the outward actions and even the most secret thoughts, changing and refashioning the whole life for the perfecting of outward holiness and the enrichment of inward holiness.
Harmon A. Baldwin was an early Free Methodist writer and advocate of the doctrine of entire sanctification. This selection, condensed by Larry D. Smith, comes from Lessons for Seekers of Holiness, first published in 1907.
We are living in a time when Bible teachings are being proven. But we must remain strong, diligent, and prepared to speak His Truth. It’s not just us that has a need for our commitment to do so. It is the eternal destination of those we know, those we call friends, those we call family, encounters that just happen. God has given us a chance to give to each of those we have contact with a seed that could lead to their walking with Him, with us in Heaven. Because, if they haven’t accepted Jesus by faith, as their Lord and Savior, they are not heaven bound.
You are in my prayers. – Vicki