It seems to me in this day and age Christians are content to stop short of holiness. Our churches don’t talk about this very much. We talk about many ways to get along with and in our culture, but little is said about living life in a countercultural way. The vast majority of sermons I hear these days are almost a sort of self-help message wrapped in a Christian cloak.
When was the last time you left a church service less comfortable than when you entered the building? Today’s typical Christian is content with comfort. This is a travesty disciples of Jesus cannot possibly let stand. The whole point of our lives is to live a holy life looking like Jesus. How can we glorify a holy God with a life so far removed from His holy standard?
When this blog is first published, it will be Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It’s a day most bloggers, Christian and secular alike, devote to discussing things for which they are thankful. Being perfectly honest, it was my intent to do the same. Then it struck how this was the safe and comfortable thing to do. It’s easy to get caught up in doing what we’ve always done without giving the reasons for doing so a second thought. I believe this is what has happened to the modern church. We go with the flow, year in and year out, doing what is safe and comfortable until we have forgotten what the whole point of it all was in the first place.
I was reading A.W. Tozer, and he was talking about the parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-9). A part of the story I’ve rarely spent much time reflecting on is how some people have a thirty-fold return, some a sixty, and some a hundred. Tozer believed, and I agree, most Christians have settled for the thirty-fold return; and that may be generous. If we know a return of a hundred times is possible, why would we settle for a measly return of thirty?
I believe a hundred-fold return on our life is achieved through a pursuit of holiness. Holiness is simply living a life that looks like Jesus. We seek to align our thoughts with His, see everyone and everything through His eyes, speak the words He would speak, and go where He would go. It means letting go of everything comfortable and normal by society’s standards. It means letting go of our selfishness and pursuing Him instead of ourselves.
If we want to be thankful for something, how about being thankful God has not given us what we deserve? Let’s be thankful for His Son choosing to die in our place. I am thankful for the enormity of His love and mercy. How about you? If we are truly thankful for such things, our response should be that of holiness. How dare we seek comfort when Jesus chose suffering and death. What right do we have to safety when Christ left His throne to dwell on this sin-filled planet? We were created to worship Him, to glorify Him, and to reflect His beauty to the world. We were called to holiness.