In this week’s devotional, A Jesus-Shaped Life, Steve Cordle writes about being “Set Apart.” Jesus knew he was set apart for a special purpose. When he called his disciples, he called them to something special. When Jesus called us, he also called us to something special. Jesus did not simply call us to be a part of a cool club or to put our names on a membership roll. Jesus called us into a relationship with him so we could be set apart from the world.
The disciples had to leave their homes, families, and livelihoods behind to follow the Messiah. When we are called by Jesus, we are called to leave behind our old thought patterns and our selfish desires. The more successful we are, the more we will become strangers to the things of this world.
Leviticus 11:44a says “For I am the Lord your God; sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” When we hear the word “holy,” we often think of perfection. We cannot allow ourselves to get overwhelmed with the idea that we have to be perfect. Steve Cordle has a fine definition of holiness. He wrote, “To be holy means to be set apart or dedicated to God.” Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit that continually purifies us. Sanctification requires our constant cooperation and yielding to God’s will above our own.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
God wants all to come out of the darkness. I truly believe that God wants everyone to be comfortable in his presence. That does not mean that we allow ourselves to be complacent.
Jesus’ followers not only have a different kind of love, but they also live different kinds of lives. We have been called out by Jesus. Therefore, we are holy. We are set apart and dedicated to God. Though we are comfortable in our calling, we are not complacent. So, we will seek to grow closer to God and to become more like Jesus as we are sanctified through the work of the Holy Spirit.
May God help us remember we are holy and may God help us always yield to the sanctifying work within us.