Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Your Life Is Sacred

Photo by Temari 09
The Meaning of "Sacred"

What do think of when you hear or read the word "sacred?" Do you have some kind of mystical, special place in mind? Maybe you think of your own church building or perhaps places like the town of Bethlehem, Nazareth, or Jerusalem?

The definition of the word sacred is holy; entitled to reverence; consecrated to God. Any object (such as the Tabernacle, Temple, or altar) or any person (such as a priest, missionary, or pastor) that has been set apart for service to God would be considered sacred.

The Life of a Believer Is Sacred

As a believer in Christ, have you ever considered that your very life is sacred? At the point of your salvation, God called you to be part of His family through the death, burial, and resurrection of His own Son, Jesus Christ. Even if you are just a "lay person" in a church, your life is just as sacred and set apart for ministry as the pastor or other staff members of your church. Your role in the body of Christ just looks different from their role.

In 1 Peter 2:9-10 we read,
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Because God has set us apart as His own special possession, He has called us to holy living. He wants us to live sacred, set-apart lives from that of the world:
He 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, (2 Timothy 1:9)
But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)
So, How Do We Live Out a Sacred Life?

For the believer, God's Word is the roadmap for us as we strive to live out a sacred, holy life. In order to be more life Jesus, we must immerse ourselves in the Word and prayer on a consistent, daily basis. We know this to be true, but so few believers actually do it!

Some days are going to be better than others as we strive to live a life pleasing to God. On one day, we will be living out a sacred, holy life through the power of the Holy Spirit; and on the next day, we will be struggling with the fleshly nature. Even the great Apostle Paul had the exact same struggles that we have. In Romans 7:18b-25 we read Paul's lament on his struggle with the flesh:
… For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
There is no magic wand we can wave, no secret formula we can drink in order to stay living in the Spirit versus living in the flesh. It is a process of daily humbling ourselves and submitting to God's control of our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. And, when we fall down, we immediately have an attitude of repentance, ask the Lord to forgive us, dust ourselves, and get up again, heading in the direction of Jesus.

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