Holiness Is Making Right Choices
"Choose . . . this day whom you will serve. . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
-Joshua 24:15, emphasis added
Clearly, having a reverential fear of God is not optional: Be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off (Proverbs 23:17-18). We are to "fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
We do not have to fear that our soul is going to go to hell, but we do need to fear that God will destroy our body if we do not repent of sin. The chastisement of Jesus Christ goes from conviction of sin, to the grieving of the Holy Spirit, to the quenching of the Holy Spirit, to weakness of the body, to sickness of the body, then to death. This is clearly taught in 1 Corinthians 11, 1 John 5, and Revelation 2.
Fearing God has both positive and negative elements: Obey in all things . . . , fearing God (Colossians 3:22). In a positive way, every true believer has reverential fear of God--an awesome awareness of His power, His holiness, and His glory. Proper worship always includes that kind of fear of the Lord.
Every day we face this choice: serve Christ or the world. The letters in Revelation have a timely application for our lives. They each emphasize why and how we must fear Jesus.
- Ephesus (2:1-7): Remember that Jesus is jealous of your love, so lay hold of your first love for Christ.
- Smyrna (2:8-11): Hope in Jesus through life until the end and trust Christ through your suffering.
- Pergamos (2:12-17): Rest in the security that comes from clinging only to Jesus, and conform to Christ, not the world.
- Thyatira (2:18-29): Fear the chastening love of Jesus so He will not have to discipline sin in the church.
As it was in Thyatira, so it is in your life today. Daily you have opportunities to either please God or please self. But for a devoted believer, there is only one right choice: honor the holiness of Jesus by purposing in your heart to respond in obedience to Him regardless of the cost.
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