Our Work – Part II
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:14-21
Key Verse: Hebrews 12:14
Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Yesterday’s devotion was about the first way that our Key Verse tells us to be a good witness to those around us: to keep peace in our relationships, even when we disagree with others’ opinions or lifestyle.
The second way that our Key Verse tells us to be a good witness is to work at living a holy life. We live a holy life by working to follow the Holy Spirit that lives in all believers.
Yesterday, I referred to Galatians 5:15-26 that describes what it looks like to follow our lower, human natures and what it looks like to follow God’s Spirit that lives in all believers. It is worth reading this again today.
When we work at following God’s Spirit, we see the fruits (or results) of the Holy Spirit in us, things like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
This lifestyle of staying in step with God’s Spirit in us does not develop overnight; it takes some time. When we work at it, we can speed the process up. Then we can see our relationships getting stronger and more positive.
God helps any believer stay in step with the Holy Spirit when they surrender to Him and give permission.
The second part of our Key Verse says: “work at living a holy life”.
If you have Jesus in your life and commit to stay in step with God’s Spirit in you, you automatically live a holy life.
The reason this is true is that God’s Spirit knows that we cannot be good witnesses to our world simply by living a peaceful life. We must also live a holy life and only God’s Holy Spirit can make us holy.
You may have heard preachers say: “God’s mission is not to make you happy but to make you holy”. I think that this is mostly true. However, in my life I find that when I follow the nudges of the Holy Spirit, then I am happy.
What does “work at living a holy life” and following the nudges of the Holy Spirit look like in everyday living? Here are a couple of examples.
When you start to say something unkind to someone, the Holy Spirit nudges you to soften your approach. I believe the Spirit helps us to find ways of expressing our opinions and disagreements in ways that do not cause divisions.
When people hurt you, the Holy Spirit nudges you toward forgiving them. The Bible reminds us of the many times we need God’s forgiveness, and God asks us to pass that forgiveness on to others.
Having healthy, peace-filled relationships and living a holy life takes work on our part. We are fighting our own natural, human desires as well as the devil’s work to defeat the influence of the Holy Spirit in us.
The good news is that we have God on our side, and we can win at this.
Father, help me with the work I must do to live in peace with those around me. Help me to become more and more holy. In Jesus’s Name, amen.