”Let it be your ambition to live at peace with all men and to achieve holiness ‘without which no man shall see the Lord’.” Heb. 12:14, Phillips
Jesus, in grace, has given us a brand new year to use for His glory. Let’s manage life to make this year count for eternity. This life is so short, even if we live to be 120, compared to what is on the other side. We need to make the most of the time we have. We need to manage life as an eternal investment. Handling and managing this life, no matter what God sends across our path, is our training for handling and managing what God will give us in eternity. Let’s be wise and faithful stewards.
So how are we going to manage life? Our verse above states first that we should try to live at peace with everyone. This does not mean that we do not stand for righteousness and oppose evil. It does mean that we are not troublemakers, we don’t deliberately irritate others, and we don’t place heavy burdens on others. War, on any level, is sometimes necessary but our desire is not for war, our desire is for peace. Let us be peacemakers. [The greatest art of peacemaking is bringing people to the Cross where they can be at peace with God.]
Second, if we would see God as we manage life, we must live holy lives. Holiness is not an option, nor is it unachievable. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour we are placed “in Christ” and are seen as holy before God. That is the only reason we can enter His presence. When we sin we need to run TO God for forgiveness. There is no reason to wallow is self-pity, condemnation, and fear. We come to God, receive forgiveness, and then go on.
Because we are holy in Jesus Christ, our lives should progressively reflect that holiness. A true relationship with Jesus Christ brings a new heart - a desire to be holy. The confession of the Christian is: Jesus is Lord. If there is no desire to come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ then we need to see if there has actually been a new birth or only a still birth.
Holiness means to be separated to God. It means His priorities become our priorities. It means we follow His commands, which are not grievous when we have a new heart. It is not a legalist thing. It is a joy to do the will of God as we manage life. Yes, we fail and give into our old nature. It can be and is a struggle at times. It is a struggle because we are trying to let go of old lifestyles and thought patterns, but our desire is for the new life in Christ.
So what is a holy lifestyle pleasing to God? It is found in the commands of God. One reason I wrote Life Line was to show the proper use of God’ Law as we manage life. It is NOT a legalist way to gain or maintain salvation, but it does reveal to us how to live holy lives. As we grow and mature in Christ our lives should more and more reflect the standard of God in Scripture. No, we will never perfectly attain it in this life, but day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year we should be getting closer. As we manage life, our lifestyle should be holier and our relationship closer to God at the end of this year than it is right now.
We need to take a hard, no-compromise attitude to sin in our lives. Not condemning and living in guilt, but hard work, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to defeat and destroy the sin which so easily besets us. We need to choose in advance that we will not live at peace with sin. We have to decide to wholeheartedly follow God and to let go of anything that would hold us back. Let this year be the year we totally sell out to God.
God requires not only personal holiness, but also national holiness. We are living in the final days of Western Civilization unless radical changes are made quickly. Most of you know I am a long-term optimist, but short-term we are headed into a time of judgment. [Anyone who studies Biblical Law will see both the reasons and the answers for this.] Even Christians, most without realizing it, have a multitude of gods above God. This must change as we manage life. We must become a people grounded on the Word of God and totally committed to holiness. If we would see God turn our nations around, we must first be willing to let Him turn us around.
I believe in victory, but there is no victory without a battle. Where did Jesus Christ win the greatest victory of all time? On the Cross - where He chose to be voluntarily. When did Job win his greatest victory? When he lost everything and still worshiped God. When we will win our greatest victory? When we choose to live a holy [separated] lifestyle no matter what the cost. Are you ready manage life for victory?