April 17, 2016
HOW TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE
When I was a kid growing up, my father would tell me that I needed to choose the people I hung around with very carefully because if you are part of a group, then you will be judged by the behavior of that group. Whether, or not, you actually did whatever the group did, that was how people would think of you. In other words, if you hang out with a group that is always getting into trouble, then people will think of you as a trouble maker. If you hang out the smart people, then you will be judged to be like them whether you really are smart, or not. I am not saying that is fair, it is just the way it is. Life is rarely fair.
I learned this lesson well, and I generally chose to do things the various groups of kids were not doing. As the saying goes, I was country when country wasn’t cool. I turned in my platform shoes and walked all around my college campus wearing cowboy boots. Now, I have to admit, it was at Kansas State University, so it wasn’t all that unusual. I gave up listening to Three Dog Night, Chicago, and Sly and Family Stone as a teenager and started listening to Willie and Waylon, Hank Jr, and Merle Haggard back in the rebel days of country music.
After a while, I switched to traditional country music which included George Strait and the music from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. People like Hank Sr., Patsy Cline, Don Williams, Danny Davis and Nashville brass, and so forth. I even started listening to big band and 40’s club music. Nobody was listening to these guys at that time. It actually became a point in my life to be seen as different from all of the crowd. But being different meant that I was not a part of any particular group. Certainly not, the in-crowd. This was a conscious, and deliberate, decision on my part. I did not want to be associated with the in-crowd, and so I wasn’t.
This actually fit right in with being a Christian during my school years. Living the life of a Christian means you will never be popular, and you will not be a part of the cool kids. In fact, the Bible tells us that we will be hated.
13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Even knowing that this true, there is to be a conscious, deliberate, decision on the part of a believer, to live a life that is separated from the secular world. Not isolated from the world, for we live in the world, but we are not to be of the world. When people describe you, they should say that there is something different about you, not goofy different, but a good difference. There ought to be something attractive about the way you conduct yourself. There should be a lack of anxiety about all of the things that worry the rest of the world. There should be a humility in your words and your actions. There should be kindness in your actions to others. In fact, people should see Christ shining out of you.
Everything you think about when you consider how Christ lived His life on this earth, ought to be something that you are moving toward, or growing toward as a Christian. This is what living a holy life means. It is living a separated life. One set aside for Christ, dedicated to the work of Christ, and accomplishing the purposes of God in this world.
This is what our lesson is about today, how to live a holy, or a separated life.