Three Things to Focus on in 2014 (part 3)
Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold (Matthew 24:12 –NLT). Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead (1 Tim 4:1-2 –NLT). Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God (2 Corinthians 7:1 –NLT).
Amorality is a great scourge on the earth today. It is symptomatic of conditions on earth during the rule of the person known as “anti-Christ” during the tribulation period (see Daniel 11:36-38). Amorality means having no moral standard. In an amoral culture, anything is acceptable. We are now living in such a culture. These are pre-tribulation days.
God revealed Himself often in scripture by fire, which signifies purity. God descended upon Mount Sinai in fire (Exodus 19:18). He led the Israelites at night by a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:22). Ezekiel saw God as a consuming fire from head to foot (Ezekiel 1:26-28). John had a vision of Jesus on the Isle of Patmos and His eyes were like a flame of fire (Revelation 1:14). We are baptized by the Lord Jesus with the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16). Divided tongues of fire sat upon the heads of the one hundred and twenty disciples in the upper room as they were baptized with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3).
Jesus by the Holy Spirit brings the fire of purity into our lives when we are born again. This purifying effect is magnified by the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Jesus goal is to cleanse our lives from the defilement of sin.
God’s heart desire for every believer is holy, set-apart from the world living. 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 1:15-16 –NLT).
You and I will not live holy lives without a direct choice of will to do so. Our media age is steeped in the lusts of the flesh. We must cry out to Jesus to create in us His holiness, and for Him to breathe His fire of purity within us continually. Notice 1 Peter 4:1-2 Amplified: So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.
Make a choice today to walk in holiness before God. Remember that He forgives, cleanses, and forgets all past sin when we confess it, and by His grace empowers us to live above flesh desires moment by moment.
Determine today to have clean eyes and clean thoughts. Choose to turn away from every appearance of impurity and trust the grace of God to help you.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things (Philippians 4:8). Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse (The Message Paraphrase).
Light shines brightest in darkness. Let’s choose to walk in the light of holiness with the Lord Jesus in 2014. This year, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14 –NLT).