That was the title of the message I shared today in church. Our pastor was attending a conference out of town and I'm periodically asked to be a "guest speaker" in those situations. I'd chosen 1 Peter 1:13-2:12 as the Scripture reading that was done earlier in the service by someone else, and then I opened with a bit of personal testimony...
"For the last two months or so, I’ve been struggling under the most extreme and intense conviction I’ve ever felt in my life. It seemed to affect everything, but I just couldn’t seem to get to the heart of it.If you're interested, you can read the entire transcript here.
My goal has been to read through the entire Bible in two years. I started last year and am very close to finishing. One of the last books on my reading schedule was 1 Peter. I’m a little behind schedule, so it seems I could have had this little epiphany at least a week earlier if I’d kept on top of things! But I think God in His wonderful providence, timed it perfectly to happen this week while I tried to prepare for this morning.
That opening phrase in [1 Peter] 1:13, “Therefore, prepare your minds for action;” jumped out at me and I knew I was going to learn something. But it was like looking in an ugly mirror. Seeing the short-comings; seeing that my Christian life had been devoid of a pursuit of holiness. Seeing that I hadn’t really cared or even considered what being "set apart for God” should look like in my everyday life.
The truth is, I’ve gotten too cozy with sin. Instead of being an influence on the world, I’ve let the world influence me. I look around myself and figure if everyone else is doing it, it must be okay. If all my Christian friends are doing it, it must be okay. I have been comfortably living in the “might makes right/majority rules” philosophy of the world.
Forgive me if I’m being presumptuous, but because I don’t particularly stand out among the majority of other Christians I see, I believe this message is for all of us: the Body of Christ needs to wake up, to repent, and to remember their calling to be a royal priesthood!
Now the real challenge is...