Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:25, NIV*
I’m challenged by how seriously the Apostle Paul takes spiritual growth and development, compared with how casually it’s often treated these days. Even when we know it’s important and we try our best, it’s easy to wish ourselves more spiritually mature and then forget to actually practise the spiritual disciplines that will help us grow.
A quick search of BibleGateway.com turned up six variations on the command to “be holy because God is holy.” We know it’s not so we can earn His love, nor for legalistic purposes. It’s spiritual training, where outward acts deepen inner devotion.
Part of the call to holiness is so barriers won’t grow between us and God after Jesus took them all down. The repeated act of recognizing and confessing our sins of commission or omission keeps the barriers broken down and sensitizes our spirits to God’s way.
I wonder if the main reason, though, is so our devotion to God will show others how incredibly worthy we know Him to be: worthy of our obedience, worship and love. After all, if we don’t seem very captivated by Him, what will attract them to consider Him?
Living and Holy God, You’ve saved us and called us to be a people set apart for Yourself, and You’ve promised to grow us into Your Son’s image. Help us take this seriously, with the right motivation, and teach us to live holy lives that worship You. Thank You for the privilege of being restored to relationship with You.
*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.