Thursday 26 Apr 2018
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Psalm 1: 2-3

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

A call to holy living

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For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life - 1 Thessalonians 4:7.

There is a disturbing trend that seems to be spreading unabated amongst the redeemed of God, you see as citizens of the Kingdom of God, it appears that we are no longer paying attention to the very virtue upon which kingdom we belong is built upon. These days the gospel of repentance and the call to embrace holiness it seems no longer excite the citizens of the kingdom of righteousness, rather what appears to excite the citizens of the kingdom cannot be distinguished from that which also excites those that are still in the world. As a result of this, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the children of light from those of darkness, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify the citizens of the Kingdom.

Of course we should always be excited by the wonderful promises which coming into the kingdom makes available to us, there is nothing wrong about this. But there is a whole lot of danger lurking when these promises excite us more and it comes at the expense of the very principle and precepts that make them available to us. There is grave danger when the message of prosperity excites me more than the gospel calling me into righteous and holy living..

You see the scriptures point out to us the fact that the kingdom of God is about 'Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost'; These are the very virtue or precepts that the Kingdom of God is all about. I want you to know the very relationship between these three. You see the very foundation of the kingdom is built upon righteousness and this provides the platform for the other two to stand upon. As a matter of fact for every promise that the kingdom promises they are premised upon the foundation of righteousness. God is a righteous God and everything he does stems from that. The scripture informs us that God is Holy and he instructs us to be Holy in turn;

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.- 1 Peter 1:15 - 16

Not only that but the scripture stated emphatically that no unrighteous man or woman will inherit the kingdom of God, the scripture went on to list a number of lifestyle closely identified with unrighteousness so that we may know better.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

If the kingdom of God is built upon the foundations of righteousness, then what manner of people is God raising in the kingdom, what manner of people is he bringing into the kingdom? Well we know for sure the manner of lifestyles of which the kingdom is not about and as a result not acceptable in the kingdom. So what manner of people can live and thrive in the kingdom? We get the answer by looking at how God described the nation that he first chose for himself by declaring them his own people, by this I mean the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Israelites;

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. -Exodus 19:6

God declared them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. To help them understand the standards that was expected of them, he gave them his laws. These laws revealed to them the righteous requirements of the kingdom, it left them in no doubt what living in the presence of God demanded of them. This standard still remains for all who have been called into the Kingdom through Jesus, this standard was set right from the foundation of the world and in line with the unchanging nature of the one who owns the kingdom, there is therefore no turning or altering the standards.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Ephesians 1:4

God still demands purity and holiness from everyone who comes into the kingdom. He recognises the transformation that is required to bring us up to, so he gave us a rebirth, giving us his own nature in the process. He recognised our weaknesses and the need for us to grow and mature into the holiness which he demands, he therefore left us under the supervision of his grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. This he has done because he demands purity from his citizens since he is a holy God.

As citizens of the kingdom we must never be tempted or even allow ourselves to be distracted by not paying enough attention to the need for purity. We must be careful not to allow any teaching or doctrine lull us into any false sense of well being that we can get along fine in the kingdom without purity and holiness. We must not even allow ourselves to believe that we can thrive in this kingdom by flouting the requirements for holy living at will. You see the fact remains God cannot be mocked, whatsoever a man sows he reaps. In the case of the citizens of the Kingdom, when we sow into the righteousness upon which the kingdom is built, we would reap in abundance from this righteousness.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. - Galatians 5:7-8.

Therefore we must endeavour to strive and give diligence to the pursuit of holiness very much the same way we do when pursuing the promises of prosperity that is on offer in the kingdom. In fact the scripture instructs us to take the pursuit of Holiness with utmost diligence, it is only by doing can we truly inherit the kingdom. Let no one be deceived by trying to substitute the acquisition of material wealth in the absence of holiness as a sure sign of thriving in the kingdom. Remember no unrighteous person can inherit the kingdom, and remember also that what does it profit a man to gain all the world but ends up losing his soul. the greatest treasure on offer in the kingdom is not material wealth, rather it is the salvation of the soul which the demand for righteous living helps preserve.

Dear citizens of the kingdom the requirement for holy living still stands in the kingdom, the standard was never lowered and it would never be, and God has made it possible through the power of his grace for every citizen to fulfil this requirement. In doing so we do not have any excuse for not attaining to this standard anymore.