June 19, 2011

Holy and Privileged

1 Peter 2:9-10

You are a chosen people … that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness …
1 Peter 2:9


I once had the privilege of eating lunch with the governor of Illinois. I enjoyed the honor of the event and the conversation we shared, and I even participated in a photo session before it all ended. But, as memorable as that was, it pales in comparison to an even greater privilege.

A moment with a temporary politician is soon over, but the child of God lives in God’s presence forever through Jesus Christ—“God with us.” I am privileged to daily converse with him and to serve as his representative. That is the essence of holiness—a life “set apart” for Christ!

Holiness is God’s gift of grace to us. He declares that we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” Holiness is also our gift of gratitude to God. Overwhelmed by God’s generosity, I joyfully receive it and gratefully boast in the One who gave it.

It is sad that many people think of holiness as a list of suffocating rules or as an unsatisfying way to earn God’s acceptance. Some quit. Others judge. Many are confused. All miss the grace that says “we are God’s handiwork” (Ephesians 2:10). They miss the gratitude that delights in knowing that even the tiniest growth is an impressive testimony to the Giver.

Holiness earns nothing, but it sure says a lot about God’s gracious character!

Lord, thank you for the gift of holiness. From this day forward I will gratefully declare your gracious name. May my life be a testimony to your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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