Be Holy

1 Peter 1:13-16 

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Successive why’s

When toddlers start asking successive why’s, your patience would be tested. Do you have patience answering toddlers when they ask why and why and why?

Curious toddlers or children want to know reasons behind doing one thing or another. They ask “why” then follow up with successive why’s until they are satisfied with your answer,  or when you are irritated of their seemingly irrelevant questions of “why.”

A mother told her child, “Go and brush your teeth!” “Why do we brush teeth, mother?” the child asked. “So that you have clean teeth,” the mother answered. “Why do we need to have clean teeth, mother?” the follow up question came. “To have good breath,” she answered. “Why do we need to have good breath?” a follow up why asked. “Heh! Stop asking why; just go and brush your teeth,” end of successive why’s.

Many busy parents have no patience explaining wisely to curious children the reason behind doing something or another. Do you agree that it would help children if parents spend enough time giving intelligent answer to inquiries of curious children?

So, how much time is enough time when answering curious inquiries of children?

Parenting is ministry to disciple children. Parents should serve as primary mentor, teacher and trainer to their children, and not as secondary. Can you readily adhere or believe what wisest King Solomon advised in Proverbs 29:17? 17Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.

We believe that Solomon was the wisest king of Israel. His advice to “discipline children will give us peace and delight” seems to be ironic if we take his own children as example. His own son King Rehoboam, who succeeded Solomon as king of Israel, had failed to keep Israel united as nation. Did King Solomon discipline him or not?

Peace and delight as result of disciplined children should not depend on what children do or their lifestyle. Can you accept that parent’s responsibility to discipline their children is godly command that requires godly effort? Thus, to obey such godly command, parents must rely upon the Holy Spirit; then, the Holy Spirit produces peace and delight for parents to discipline their children in biblical manner. Actually, the term “delight” can be interpreted as “joy!”  Joy and peace are fruit of the Holy Spirit of God.

It says in Hebrew 12:10-11, 10They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

As parents discipline their children, our heavenly Father disciplines for goodness sake that produces righteousness and peace in us if we abide by his godly training. Godly training or discipline from the Lord sets apart his holy children. As children of our heavenly Father, he disciplines us; he sets us apart from worldliness to be holy. Why?

We need to learn and live to be holy because life in heaven requires holiness.

When Christ our Lord returns and takes us into his heaven, we live with him and our heavenly Father forever and ever. Christ is coming again sooner than later.

1.  Come

13Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 

Do you strongly hope that Christ comes sooner than later? Surely, we have no idea when Christ returns, but to have firm confidence that he will certainly return, we become more sober and alert in our mindset and lifestyle. It is also by the grace of God that we sense urgency to follow a lifestyle pleasant to the Lord. When God’s grace is manifested in our life, we also sense his peaceful joy and abide in his godly discipline.

The phrase “minds that are alert and fully sober” pertains to awareness and great expectation of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Such expectation produces delight in our personal spiritual preparation; we want to be best presentable to our Lord in the best way we can become. We want to be most holy to the Lord.

Ten Virgins

Christ illustrated his return in the parable of 10 Virgins in Matthew 25:1-5 1At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

The parable teaches that the wise virgins enjoyed the banquet while the foolish ones did not. The 10 virgins pertain to believers who are prepared for Christ’s return. All of them have lamps but only the wise virgins have extra oil. Some Bible scholars suggest that the lighted lamp pertains to abiding in biblical righteousness for spiritual guidance. While the wise believers seek to understand and personally apply spiritual lessons while waiting for Christ’s return, the foolish ones are pleased with little knowledge of God.

Bible students supposed that the phrase “they all become drowsy and fell asleep” can be interpreted as ordinary lifestyle of mankind or common problems that all people, even non-religious people, normally experience in this world.

Being drowsy and fell asleep or to have problem common to mankind was not the reason the foolish virgins did not enter the wedding banquet hall. It was because they have no extra oil; they fall short of oil in their lamps. What is spiritual oil of believers?

The foolish virgins depended upon the oil in their lamp or their personal righteousness. The wise virgins have oil also in their lamp and extra oil with them.

Theologians interpret that the oil in the lamps of the virgins pertains to human righteousness, but the extra oil that the wise virgin have is sanctification and divine power of God through the Holy Spirit that secures believer for eternal salvation.

It says in Romans 3:23, 23All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Everyone can have problem, everyone can be righteous, everyone can avail of the extra oil of godly righteousness through faith in Christ. But how do wise believers make sure to have extra oil of godly righteousness? We should make sure we are set apart to the Lord. Lifestyle in godly righteousness practically proves if we’re holy to God.

It is true that if we accepted Christ as Lord, we are saved forever, but how do you know if you sincerely accepted him as Lord and not deceived yourselves?

As we eagerly wait for the return of Christ, we have to be alert and sober always in our mind and regularly evaluate our lifestyle, from time to time, so that we won’t be tempted to conform to the pattern of worldly lifestyle surrounding us.

2.  Conform

14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 

To conform to the pattern of worldly lifestyle is natural inclination of mankind. No one is exempted. Every believer can be attracted to materialism or worldly pleasure. It requires total dependence upon the Holy Spirit of God for us to be holy all the time. Have you observed that even during personal quiet time when we read our Bible, our mind would wander somewhere all of a sudden? Ideas can distract our concentration.

Even now, some of us could be thinking about what they have for lunch or dinner or other activities they are passionately involved with. Experts suggested that we can be passionate in one thing or more. Normally, our passion would occupy our mind most of the time. Are you passionate about your job, studies, hobby, project, sport or pleasure?

Are you passionate with your ministry involvement? What is it that you most often think about in your solitude or wherever you are situated?


In a TV series that features a group of lawyers, they defended a client in a remote island. The team leader could have stayed in his office and sent his team. Instead, he joined his team. His personal plan was to have rest and leisure in that exotic island. Speaking of island, one can easily imagine the seashore, swimming, boating or relaxing.

When the team of lawyers gathered, the team leader told his team about his life; he is very passionate about his work as a lawyer. He got married, had their honeymoon in the same island but he got divorced after that. His wife was upset that even during their honeymoon he was still working like crazy and ignored their honeymoon.

Someone jokingly said, “I don’t like work, it destroys fun with friends.” Is it easy for you to adjust when your spouse talk about their work when they are home? And have you observed co-workers who talk about their life at home during work time? When at work, they talk about home life; when they are at home, they talk about work.

Is there biblical instruction about talking a particular topic in the home, at work or anywhere? Actually, it teaches in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, 4The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Originally, this command was given to the Israelites. For God’s children, it is also advisable for parents to talk about the Lord with their children wherever they are situated. Certainly, God our heavenly Father will bless us more. Teaching children about godly righteousness helps us also to be aware of our own lifestyle.

Do you eagerly look forward to the return of Christ, with alert and sober mind? Be sincere and focus on holy life because we are called to be holy in everything we do.

3.  Call

15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

What shall we explain when someone ask us about the meaning of holiness? What does it mean to be holy? Holy is the godly term for consecrated, set apart or sacred; earlier English Bible versions translated “holy people” as saints.

God is holy; therefore, God’s children should be holy. We are God’s children; therefore, we should be holy. But how can sinful human become holy? By our sinful humanity, we can never make ourselves holy. Only believers who have the Holy Spirit of Christ can become holy; the Holy Spirit himself makes us holy if totally rely upon him.

It says in 2 Timothy 1:7-10, 7For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 

The Lord saved all believers who genuinely accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He saved us for the purpose to live holy, set apart and consecrated lifestyle. Holy life serves as our practical proof of God’s grace; therefore, as believers set apart for holiness, we do not rely upon our righteousness but to follow biblical righteousness.

The Lord Jesus instructed us not to worry about life, and he commanded in Matthew 6:33-34, 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Believers can still worry of many things when we fail to let godly righteousness prevail in our life. And we can only have lifestyle of godly righteousness when we totally rely upon the Lord and the guidance of his Holy Spirit. Pray to totally depend on the Lord.

Many believers have reached and explored the greatness of their potentiality because they are very dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Do you wish to discover your potentiality? Rely upon the Holy Spirit in everything your do.


The Lord commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle or Tent of Meeting. Of course, Moses needed someone to help him. The Lord said in Exodus 31:2-6, 2See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit Bezalel was able to instruct others how they may do things needed in the Tabernacle. Bezalel relied upon the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and skill.

Pray that you may completely rely upon the Holy Spirit so that you may know how you may reach the potentiality of greatness that God prepared for you, and you will also be able to live in holiness as we wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God might have called you to leadership. If you were nominated, pray about it if God had called you; and, accept your nomination to leadership ministry. Don’t hesitate to explore the leadership skill God gave you when you depend on the Holy Spirit.

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